People hear from candidates seeking 6th congressional district seat

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) Republicans and Democrats held forums for candidates to speak with the public about why they should be the 6th District Representative. There are 12 people hoping to replace Representative Bob Goodlatte.

The auditorium at Roanoke's south county library was filled with people ready to hear from seven of the eight candidates seeking the chance to represent the Republican party. People like Michael Smith says it's a good sign to see a wide range of people. "There are a lot of people who have ideas," said Michael Smith, "they want to put that on voters minds."

For the first part of the forum, each person was given sixty seconds to share their views on issues like how to improve Interstate 81, the role of government, and term limits. "There is a broad range of questions we are going to ask," said Donald Helm, "It's like they are in a job interview."

After the convention, the Republican nominee will look to secure the seat that Bob Goodlatte has held since 1993.

First, they will have to beat out one of the Democrat nominees."I think they all have great qualifications," said Karen Nuzzo, "We are delighted to have four candidates that have a lot to bring to the table."

The four Democratic candidates answered questions on topics like improving southwest Virginia's economy and healthcare. "I think one thing they are looking for is someone who is listening to the needs of the district and that is responsive," said Nuzzo.

Both parties have a diverse group of candidates ranging in profession, age, and gender. Whoever is chosen to represent either party, face-time with constituents before November is essential. "It allows us to make an educated decision and choice when it comes time," said Smith.

The decision for the Republican convention is May 19th and for the Democratic primary it is June 12th.