BALTIMORE — Seven democratic candidates for governor took center stage during a debate held at Coppin State University Tuesday.
The debate was moderated by WMAR-2 News anchor Kelly Swoope.
Each of the candidates spoke on how they will address the most pressing issues in Maryland and across the city of Baltimore.
Education, crime and economic growth were among the topics discussed.
For some, it was their first time seeing the candidates up close and personal.
The debate gave community members a chance to hear why the candidates believe they are the best person for the job.
“What the voters are looking somebody who is offering something different or someone who is hearing the cries of the people and not just projecting the cries of the people who they are speaking to at that time,” said community member Michael Johnson.
Johnson said education should be one of the top priorities for the next governor.
“You don’t see a neighborhood that have good schools having rough time, so if they pay attention to education that can be a catalyst to improve everything else.”
Along with education, Deborah Woolford said housing and addressing health disparities are among her top concerns. Woolford is a social worker in Baltimore.
“Since COVID, we noticed more and more people have need of mental therapy so that’s why we wanted to make sure when the funding comes that’s also included: Behavioral health. It’s not just about the physical being but it’s also about the mental state of mind,” Woolford said.
For both Johnson and Woolford, they’re hoping the candidates' actions will speak louder than words.
“We want to make sure that the candidates know that they have to keep their word because if they don’t, just like we elected them in, we can vote them out,” Woolford said.
Johnson added, “we just want to be heard, but we want to make sure you keep your promise.”
The debate took place less than two months from the primary election, which will be held in July.
You can watch the full debate here.