Sunday, August 24 2014 12:56 AM EDT2014-08-24 04:56:42 GMT
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KNOXVILLE (WATE) - As the District 7 race for state Senate heats up, the candidates are reaching out to young voters.
In a forum organized by the Knox County Young Republicans Tuesday night, Senator Stacey Campfield and his opponent, Knox County Commissioner Richard Briggs, weighed in on unemployment, taxes and the 2nd Amendment.
Regarding the state's dropping unemployment rate, Campfield says he's proud of the changes, while Briggs says Tennessee still needs more jobs.
Both men say the education system needs to do more to prepare high school students for the workforce, like adding more trade schools.
"One of the things that I firmly believe is not every student needs to go to college," Briggs said.
"If somebody has a low paying job, it beats a no paying job. We'll take trade schools any day of the week. I think that's something we've underdeveloped and underutilized here," Campfield said.
Both men agree Tennessee should not have a state income tax and they both support gun rights.
But when it comes to choosing school superintendents, Campfield favors elections while Briggs says they should be appointed by school board members.
When asked whether some of his past controversial remarks will matter in this election, Campfield says he hopes voters and his opponent will stick to the issues. Republican Seth Hammond was at the forum and says he thinks Campfield has some hurdles to overcome.
"Unfortunately he's said some things that people wonder, and so because of that it does affect him and it will hurt him. But I think he did really well tonight," Hammond said.
The Knox County Young Republicans say they will continue hosting forums throughout election season.