District 42 democratic candidates debate at TTC

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) The six Democratic candidates running for the District 42 seat duked it out Tuesday in their first debate.

Each candidate is hoping to replace long-time state Sen. Robert Ford, who recently resigned from his position after allegations that he misused campaign money. Ford maintains that the ethics investigation did not force his resignation, but his deteriorating health did.

Tuesday's event was sponsored by the South Carolina Democratic Party. The candidates were addressed major topics, including gun control, Obamacare and economic development.

"I'm not ashamed to fight for the president's agenda.{} It's a shame that at every level, the president is stymied," said Marlon Kimpson on the topic of Obamacare.

The candidates were also asked about their stance on school vouchers and tax breaks for families who send their children to private schools. Fielding did not like that idea.

"If you want to go to private schools, pay for it yourself," he said.

The candidates also voiced their opinions on the Stand Your Ground laws.

"I do believe law abiding citizens should be allowed to carry concealed weapon.{} I own a couple myself," said Maurice Washington.

"Concealed weapons are dangerous.{} As far as stand your ground laws, I know when you elect me to go up to Columbia because I will try my damndest to dilute that law," countered Bob Thompson.

Emmanuel Ferguson said he wanted to be a watchdog for economic development.

"I want to make sure these jobs are going to African Americans," he said.

As for how the candidates stacked up, here's what one undecided voter had to say.

"On a scale from 'A,' 'B,' 'C,' and 'D' -- I think they were all in the margin of 'A' and 'B' -- and If I were doing an average it would probably be a 'B' average," said Willette Scott Ash.

The Democratic primary will take place on Aug. 13 and the general election on Oct. 1.