WEST MONROE -- Fourteen candidates are vying for Louisiana's 5th District's seat in Congress.
Eleven of the 14 faced dozens of residents on Tuesday at a forum at the West Monroe Convention Center.
They took questions and explained their stances, with some listing what it is about themselves that would qualify them to be a good representative.
"Why enter? Because there's a voice that needs to be heard: the nobodies, the ones that have been cast out. The one that everybody thought wouldn't make it," said Peter Williams (O) of Lettsworth, LA. "You're looking at a product of somebody who was cast out legally because of the system."
Other candidates like Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo (D) and former congressman Clyde Holloway (R) of Forest Hill, LA, pointed to their experience.
"There's no city in the state of Louisiana that's run better than the City of Monroe as it relates to the finances," Mayo said. "We have a $14 million surplus. We know how to fix things."
"I think we deserve a member who can hit the ground running and I promise you to be that person," said Holloway. "I enjoyed serving the three terms I served."
Here's what some candidates had to say when a question regarding the Affordable Care Act came up:
"We have individuals that own businesses right here, right now, that's trying to decide how they'll wind up hiring less people and paying them less. That's just not the right directioon to go," said Sen. Neil Riser (R) of Columbia, LA.
"You have to have insurance," said S.B.A. Zaitoon (L) of Baton Rouge. "So, the solution is pay for it individually or all of us pay for it collectively."
Other candidates talked of improving our hospitals.
"We keep our eye on making sure that every person here has an opportunity to go to a hospital, be seen by a doctor and feel better when they walk out and not have the shirt off their back left there when they leave. That's paramount," Rep. Marcus Hunter (D) of Monroe said.
Candidates also talked about the issues with Syria.
"Within three weeks of this luncheon here, we will have no representative for this district at all. This is as the United States decides whether or not to go to war," said Eliot Barron (G) of New Orleans.
"I want y'all to think about it. Do we want our boys killed? Do we want war?" asked Henry Herford (L) of Delhi. "That's why I'm running. Do we want war?"
Others simply talked about how they will make the 5th Congressional District better.
"We're in the 5th Congressional District and we're in the poorest congressional district. Well, I'm running because I, like you, want to change that," said Rep. Robert Johnson (D) of Marksville, LA.
"We have to limit our government in such a case that our expenses don't exceed the taxes we're paying Washington, D.C. and we don't need our taxes to go up anymore either," Blake Weatherly (R) of Calhoun said.
"If we want our Constitution to remain powerful, we have to stop career politicians from twisting the meaning of the Constitution and ignoring its intent," said Rep. Jay Morris (R) of Monroe.
Early voting begins October 5th.
Election Day is October 19th.
The three candidates for the 5th Congressional District seat who did not attend the forum were Tom Gibbs (O) of Fairbanks, LA, Vance McAllister (R) of Monroe and Weldon Russeell (D) of Amite, LA.