FORT SMITH, Ark.(KNWA/KFTA) — The University of Arkansas Fort Smith hosted the “Democracy Project” giving students and the public a chance to learn more about the people who want to represent them at the Capitol.

Max Avery, the Republican nominee in the State House District 49 race is running for the first time.

Avery’s opponent is Democrat Jay Richardson who has served Arkansas’ 78th district for the last two years and is shooting for a third term.

Richardson and Avery are still on the campaign trail as midterm elections approach in one week.

“I really look forward to the opportunity of working with more people here in the state, hopefully making some improvements for everybody if I’m elected,” Avery (R) said.

“This is an exciting time and people need to understand that their voice is what really matters to me so at the end of the day I just want people to vote for me,” Richardson (D) said.

In a town hall meeting today hosted by UAFS Democracy Project Wednesday, each candidate shared why they deserve a seat in the state house.

“I have an understanding of how things work in the house of representatives but I think it speaks more to my ability to work with people who may not see eye to eye with me all the time,” Richardson (D) said.

“There hasn’t been an opponent from the Republican party in a while its been 20 years I think now, so it’s a true honor to be able to come represent the party here and to hopefully represent the people in our Fort Smith,” Avery (R) said.

Avery and Richardson agreed on many issues, like increasing teacher pay, and how to spend state money but each says they are the man for the job.