Five candidates vying to be the next mayor gathered in southeast Houston to share their views for the Bayou City.
The Baptist Ministers' Association of Houston and Vicinity hosted a candidate forum Saturday evening at the J. J. Roberson Family Life Center, where the candidates were asked questions about topics ranging from infrastructure to jobs and crime.
For Mayor Annise Parker, the event was a chance to highlight her accomplishments.
"I created the Demolition Day program in the City of Houston. We have bulldozed more than 2,000 crack houses in the City of Houston," said Parker.
Parker's response came as the candidates were asked about what can be done to reduce crime. While Parker listed off her accomplishments, others told the crowd it was time for change.
"We have technologies that we can exploit in order to let criminals know, you're coming into this neighborhood, your presence is detected coming and going," said candidate and Houston attorney Ben Hall.
The other candidates who participated were businesswoman Victoria Lane, retired parole officer Don Cook, and attorney Eric Dick.
But the two most well-known candidates, Parker and Hall, have already started running television ads. Earlier in the week, their campaigns sparred over whether Saturday's event was a debate or a forum.
Organizers said it was meant to be a forum. Their main rule for the night: No personal attacks.
"Our seniors need to hear discussions and not people going back and forth at each other. A forum is to listen to the answers you have to make sure you know what you're talking about to run this city," said Rev. Max A. Miller, Jr., the president of the Baptist Ministers Association of Houston and Vicinity.
The organization represents 200 pastors and preachers in the Houston area. Miller said they will be choosing which candidate to endorse over the next few weeks.