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The candidates gave a brief summary of their political platform before responding to six questions that covered topics such as education, immigration reform, the future of Social Security, climate change, job creation and how to address escalating rates of incarceration.

Those who attended were invited to submit questions on index cards that could be posed to the candidates. Four of the questions were randomly selected for use during the forum.

“It’s about time the church opened up its doors to something like this,” said parishioner Rudy Rios.

Before he concluded the evening with a prayer, Father Benedict Nwachukwu, VF, Pastor of Sacred Heart, urged attendees to participate in the upcoming elections to fill the Congressional seat. The primary election is June 3, and the top two vote getters will advance to the general election November 4.

Fr. Nwachukwu also had a message for the candidates as he closed the forum.

“Take our God to Washington.”