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Mayoral forum held

Posted at 11:43 PM, Apr 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-15 02:43:03-04

Tonight mayoral candidates spoke at a community forum about why they deserve to be the next mayor.

With the mayor’s race being flooded with candidates, competition for the seat could not be more wide open.

But with the forum giving the public a chance to ask questions and hear their opinions, making a decision may come a little easier.

For the first time since the turn of the century, Bakersfield will have to decide on a new mayor.

And with this race having no shortage of candidates vying to serve the city, voters like John Porter showed to witness almost every registered candidate discuss some of the biggest issues facing the city.

“I am impressed by how versed they are on community issues and how well informed they are and in touch they are with the community,” said Porter.

Tonight dozens showed up for the forum, representing several generations of voters, giving them a better idea on who they may pick.

“I've watched the crowd and I think they are like sponges taking everything in,” said Porter.

“You get a side by side comparison of what their visions are for the town, their backgrounds, experience, their personality,” said attendee Garrison Moratto.

“To find the right candidate...they need to actually find ways to turn around and work their ideas with Bakersfield or with the state or with California or wherever they need to go to,” said Debbie Sotello who also attended the forum.

Making some more outspoken than others that this job is not just a photo opp, comparing it to our country's highly debated presidential election.

“It's not just are you prepared to cut ribbons at grocery store openings, that's important. But it's important to see people's leadership skills on displays and I was impressed by the questions. I watched many of the debates this year in the presidential election and some of these are better than what they're getting asked,” said Moratto.

The primary election will take place on June 7 and if a candidate does not win a simple majority, the race will continue with the top two vote getters going head to head in November.