Fifteen Republicans compete at candidate forum

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Thursday night's Republican forum was packed with high expectations.

"This is a vetting process," says voter Maryann Taylor. "For me that's the biggest part of it. To vett each candidate so we can select the very best, most competent person."

"I just want someone to be honest, be themselves and have true conservative values," says attendee David Swan.

A strictly moderated discussion, 15 of the 16 candidates who attended are competing for the seat left open United States Senator Tim Scott. Issues varied from Friday's possible sequester to local concerns like the cruise liners docking in Charleston. Some voters say their greatest worry is federal spending.

"They need to cut the budget," says Edwin Taylor, another attendee. "We're $16 trillion in debt."

"I would like to see this person go and represent us and look at the budget because again we haven't had a budget presented," says Maryann.

Jobs were also at the forefront of the discussion.

"We've gotta find some ways to make it easier for people to export so we can keep the dock alive and keep people coming in and out Charleston with their goods."

The primary is set for Tuesday, March 19th. The special election will be May 7th.