NORTHWEST ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA) — Four candidates are in the running for the State Senate District 35 seat.

Republicans Jeff Tennant, Rep. Gayla McKenzie and Tyler Dees are in the race. They are challenged by Libertarian candidate Doug Peterson.

They recently discussed some topics of concern for Arkansans such as education, healthcare and the economy. All four candidates also agree changes need to be made in the state’s criminal justice system.

“I think the state could do a better job of taking care of its own prisons. When they send prisons to our county judge here, they don’t pay as high a per diem as needed,” said Tennant. “I think there needs to be some reassessment on the state level.”

“Do we need to think outside the box? There are certainly different options when it comes to sentencing,” said McKenzie

If elected, Dees wants to focus on funding prisons within reason.

“We have issues. We have needs. We have jails that are overcrowded, and we need to make sure we have to find the right funding to expand the jail system,” said Dees.

“We have to do better, and criminal justice reform is something we can address. We can improve, and it’s going to improve. It’s going to improve life for all Arkansans,” said Peterson.

Early voting is now underway across the state. If you need to verify your voter registration, you can do that here. Election day is May 24. KNWA/FOX24 is your local election headquarters, and you can follow all of our coverage here.