LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- After 23 years, Tom Owen is leaving his Metro Council seat. 

And vying to fill is seat are seven Democratic candidates. They all met to debate Thursday night. 

Here are the candidates:

- Brandon Coan, an attorney and former adviser to Mayor Greg Fischer
- Chris Kolb, an anthropology professor at Spalding University
- Terra Long, a former police officer and long-time aide to Owen, who also has his endorsement
- Lynnie Meyer, an executive at Kosair Children's Hospital
- Stephen Reily, the chair of SEED Capital
- Josh White, the founder of the Graffiti Abatement Coalition in Louisville
- Charles Wooden, a realtor who also works at GE 

One of the topics Thursday was how to improve public transportation in Louisville.

"One of the big ideas in my plan is to look at merging PARC and TARC," Coan said. "All of us need to do a better job of articulating to the community the connection between our economy and commerce."

"There's money available to fund transportation, we're just using it to fund transportation by car is the problem," Kolb said. "If we continue to have a transportation mindset in the 50s, we're going to continue to fall farther behind."

"I think we need better routes for TARC. Some of the economic areas we have TARC does not get out to, so people can not get jobs."

"You can't just talk about investing in public transportation,"Meyer said. "You also have to have complete street design and access to that transportation."

"Our fundamental problem right now is we can't do anything more with TARC because its funded by the occupational tax revenue," Reily said. "So the ultimate goal without a major change in how we fund it is to actually increase our employment base."

"TARC needs to be a lot more progressive when it comes to marketing," Smith said."It also needs to make sure it has bus stops that people want to linger at."

"If we had more direct routes to get people to their location quicker and more comfortable, I think many more people would use TARC," Wooden said.

The primary is May 17.

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