Matt Parker

Jay Curtis / KEDM

Senate candidates visited the University of Louisiana Monroe on Thursday night for the first of three KEDM political forums.  Jim Fannin, Jay Morris, and Matt Parker spoke with forum moderator Cory Crowe.

The forums are an opportunity for residents, business and community leaders to learn more about the candidates. Forums are broadcast live on 90.3 KEDM Public Radio, KEDM.org and Facebook Live; and archived at KEDM.org. 

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Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon has picked up a challenger to his re-election efforts.

Political newcomer Matt Parker, a businessman from West Monroe, officially announced his candidacy Monday for the Oct. 24 election.

Both men are Republicans.

In a statement, Parker criticized Donelon for taking campaign contributions from the insurance industry, saying that leads to higher insurance rates. Parker described his campaign as a "crusade for the consumers ofLouisiana."