Thursday night at 7 p.m. the three candidates running for governor faced off in a heated debate featuring student involvement, media, and possibly national attention.

The LSU Reilly Center for Media and Public Affairs teamed up with Nexstar Media to host the 2019 Gubernatorial Debate in the LSU Union Theater.

The Reilly Center Director, JeneƩ Slocum, shared why the Reilly Center chose to host the debate.

"Providing opportunities for the LSU community as well as the broader community to engage in important events like this is at the center of what we do," Slocum said.

Engagement with the candidates goes further than attending the debate for many students. Numerous students are involved in the debate or have been campaigning for the candidates by passing out cups and fans in Free Speech Alley.

LSU Junior expressed how he thinks the involvement of students may increase voter turnout in the upcoming elections.

"Making people involved and letting students know they have a voice and people care about what they want and their needs is really going to affect the turnout," Koch said.

The Incumbent Democrat candidate, Governor John Bel Edwards will be joined by Republican US Rep. Ralph Abraham and "conservative outsider," Eddie Rispone.

Slocum explained why this Gubernatorial Debate may get attention from national news outlets.

"Also given that our Gubernatorial Race is a bit unusual across the state," Slocum said. "We are the only state that has a democratic sitting governor, incumbent, running in a very Republican state, and so all eyes, all national politicos will have their eyes on what's happening here."

The candidates will make their way to Lafayette for the next Gubernatorial Debate Thursday at the University of Louisiana. The primary elections will be held Saturday, October 12.