COLLIERVILLE, TN (WMC) - The race for Tennessee State Representative for District 95 is underway after Mark Lovell resigned just a few weeks after taking office.
The cost to replace him is roughly $120,000 because there will need to be a special election.
Tuesday night voters met the candidates who want to fill that empty seat in Nashville.
The one theme echoed throughout the candidate forum was that District 95 deserves better and can do better.
Each of the 10 candidates believe they are the solution to make that happen. The candidates battled on issues such as education, health care, and taxes.
The 10 hopefuls come from a wide range of backgrounds from law, to business, to government.
"I'm looking forward to the candidates that are here so we can find the best possible representation for District 95," Collierville resident Kim Kennel said. "We need to be represented and now we don't have any representation."
While Lovell said in his resignation letter he wished to spend more time with his family as the cause of the freshmen lawmaker's abrupt departure, allegations swirled of Lovell's involvement in inappropriate sexual contact.
"We need somebody with a little more integrity and a little more intelligence," Collierville resident Peggy Hill said.
Lovell's resignation was top of mind for many in attendance at the candidate forum hosted by the Tennessee Nurse's Association - the state's health care future is what Kim Kennel hoped to hear from each candidate.
"They understand that our community is unique and will represent us uniquely because of our needs and our system that we have in place here," Kennel said.
For others, like longtime Collierville resident Peggy Hill, taxes and the future of Medicaid was top of mind.
"Anything that affects your pocket book you ought to be awake and listen to," Hill said.
Early voting begins Friday, April 7. The primary is scheduled for April 27.