Voters are trying to find "their" candidate among the 16 GOP candidates running for S.C. First Congressional District.
During a Saturday forum, the entire field answered questions in a forum presented by South Carolina Grassroots Community and FreedomWorks.
A voter guide distributed at the event ranked candidates from 1 to 5 based on their answers to 20 questions during an interview session prior to the forum. Ray Nash scored the highest with a 4.6. He was followed by Mark Sanford at 4.4 and then Sen. Larry Grooms and John Kuhn at 4.3.
For many conservative voters, this was the first opportunity to see all the GOP candidates on one stage. Decided and some undecided voters filled the ballroom of the North Charleston Convention Center. More than 300 were in attendance.
"I'm here today to learn what they're all about and hear them speak to issues," Justin Farnsworth of Dorchester County said.
"It's going to be tough (to decide). I just want to gather information from each one of them to see what they stand for and see if they believe like I believe," a Ladson area voter said.
After the debate wrapped up, decisions still needed to be made.
Kaaren Mann, an influential conservative who lives outside of the district, was most impressed by Sanford.
"I know that people have concerns about his past and his personal life but even when all that was going on he never stopped being a fiscal conservative," Mann said.
Some voters eliminated candidates off of the answers they heard during the forum.
"I heard who I'm not going to vote for a few cases," Joe Sturn said.
Sturn said King turned him off with his support of sequestration, and that Kuhn and Limehouse both seemed too boisterous. He also liked the answers that Larkin and Peter McCoy gave.
He said Nash really stood out in a positive way on questions the
constitutionality of laws. He said he also thought Hoffman had a very
strong answer on secondary education.
Curtis Bostic impressed Goose Creek voter John Trepen who said he liked how the candidate used the U.S. Constitution as a "litmus test."