Top political candidates speak with Shelby County voters

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Dozens of top political candidates were in Memphis to speak directly to Shelby County voters.

A total of 90 candidates shook hands and talked about the issues with voters from Memphis.

The event happened this afternoon for three hours as a way for voters to meet candidates and start forming opinions on who they will vote for in the upcoming elections.

The Tennessee Nurses Association and the League of Women Voters in Memphis and Shelby County hosted the event on the University of Memphis Center Ballroom.

WMC Action News 5 spoke to several voters and asked them what they wanted to hear from candidates today.

"I really wanted to see what the candidates had to offer. This is really my first time getting into this politics thing," voter Denzel Anthony said.

"Our crime issue. I want to see it better. I want to see my children who do not live in this city who will not come back to this city because they don't feel like there's opportunities here. I want better opportunities," voter Jean Elliot said.

There were dozens of voters who interacted with all kinds of candidates, from local state senators and representatives to candidates for governor and the U.S. Senate.

The candidates spoke about several controversial political issues in our city and our nation--such as their thoughts on the removal of Confederate statues.

"These statues don't have a place in our community at the moment and so I support what Mayor Strickland did," Gabby Salinas (D), candidate for TN Senate District 31, said.

"If somebody wants to talk about moving those statues into a museum or something for public education, I guess I can be respectful of that. But to actually take them down? That's the history," Aaron Pettigrew (R), candidate for U.S. Senate, said.

"I'm very proud of the city. I think that they did a good job in managing the whole process and being good stewards," Katrina Robinson (D), candidate for TN Senate District 33, said.

They also weighed in on the ongoing debate about gun control and arming teachers.

"I don't think we should take away anyone's second amendment, but I think we need to be smart. I am unconvinced anyone needs an AR-15," David Weatherspoon (D), candidate for TN Senate District 31, said.

"If a teacher is willing to learn and train and feels comfortable doing it, I believe it should be available to them," Pettigrew said.

"I'm willing to listen to the arguments. I'm reluctant right now," Dwayne Thompson (D), candidate for TN Representative District 96, said.

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