DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – It was a mix of politicians, faith leaders and community members Thursday evening.

They were front and center at the Phoenix Event Center in Durham as they answered questions from residents.

Each hoping to become Durham’s next mayor.

“A lot of folks ask me about local government experience. My experience is y’all,” stated Charlitta Burruss, Durham mayoral candidate.

Burruss along with Durham City Councilman Leonardo Williams, State Senator Mike Woodard, Marshall Williams Jr. and Jontae Dunston participated in a mayoral candidate forum.

“There’s no, no for me when it comes to these young Black kids in the community because I was one,” said Williams Jr.

They addressed issues like affordable housing and redevelopment.

“But right now, humans are battling corporations. At the local level, it would be disingenuous to pretend that we can just totally stop that,” Williams explained.

The candidates also answered questions about tackling the cause of gun violence.

“To fight gun violence in this community and everything, I’m sorry we are going to have to stiffen the penalties,” mentioned Dunston.

“We as elected officials and as the appointed staff need to come out and hear from the community,” Woodard said.

The primary is set for Oct. 10. The election will take place Nov. 7.