Two more Democrats and two more Republicans have committed to speak at the 2016 Bakersfield Business Conference.

Event organizers disclosed a third round of names to help fill out the Oct. 8 conference roster: conservative commentator Laura Ingraham, former U.S. Energy Secretary Bill Richardson, political strategist James Carville and former presidential candidate Herman Cain.

Ingraham is a syndicated talk show host, author and former speechwriter for the Reagan administration. She worked as a law clerk in the 1990s for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Conference organizer George F. Martin called her “both one of the smartest and one of the most entertaining conservative commentators,” while the event’s communications director, Brandon Martin, praised her as offering “razor sharp political analysis from a conservative perspective.”

“She’s an exceptional political communicator and we’d be excited to welcome her in any year, but she’s a particularly good fit this year, as the conference is scheduled on the eve of a very important election,” Brandon said in a news release.

Richardson is a former Democratic presidential candidate, congressman, ambassador to the United Nations and governor of New Mexico. Born in Pasadena to a Mexican-American father and a Mexican-born mother, he has won the release of American hostages in North Korea, Cuba, Iraq and Sudan.

George Martin said Richardson has the “stature and freedom” to provide conference attendees with views developed during decades of experience.

“That’s particularly intriguing given that Richardson has spent a lifetime deeply involved in policy ... matters that continue to be important to our local economy, our national interest and the world,” he wrote.

Carville, an author and talk-show host who has spoken at past Bakersfield Business Conferences, is known as one of the country’s most successful and most entertaining political strategists. An important figure behind former President Bill Clinton’s 1992 election victory, he has shifted his focus overseas in recent years, and helped Ehud Barak become prime minister of Israel in 1999.

Brandon Martin wrote that Carville has repeatedly been invited to speak at the event because “while a part of our audience loves him and another part loves to hate him, almost no one can resist enjoying his entertaining, irreverent presence on stage and his encyclopedic knowledge of all things political.”

Cain is a tea party activist, syndicated columnist and talk show host who ran for president in 2012. Former president and CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, he made a national name for himself when, as head of the National Restaurant Association at a nationally televised town hall meeting in 1994, he sharply challenged Clinton’s assertion that the then-president’s health-care overhaul proposal would not harm business owners and their employees.

“Business conference attendees who are looking for a business perspective on reforming policy will thoroughly enjoy Herman Cain,” Brandon Martin said in the release.

Tickets to the event can be purchased online at or by calling 371-2204.

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