BRIDGEPORT - The first debate for the democratic candidates in the Bridgeport mayoral race is complete, and emotions ran high for both the candidates and residents who sat in on the event.

Incumbent Bill Finch was joined by former mayor Joe Ganim and challenger Mary Jane Foster in the 90-minute discussion. The debate comes just weeks before the primary on Sept. 16.

The debate marked the first time all three democratic candidates came face to face in a public forum.

The two favorites, Mayor Bill Finch and former mayor Joe Ganim, used their experiences in office to convince the public of their campaigns.

Finch defended his eight years of economic development and low crime rates, saying that "Trust is back in the city of Bridgeport," and that "Investment is back, and jobs are coming."

Toward the end of the forum, Ganim fought back after attacks on his past.

"My record, for whatever it's worth - you can say anything else about what I did in office," he said. "I held a line on taxes for 10 years in a row. Who's going to better protect the taxpayers of the city of Bridgeport?"

Mary Jane Foster received a lot of support from the crowd for the majority of the evening.