TYLER, Texas (KETK) — Incumbent Gov. Greg Abbott’s Republican challengers held a primary candidate forum for the public at the Holiday Inn of Tyler on Friday.

Only three of Abbott’s seven challengers attended the event, including: former Republican Party of Texas Chairman LTC Allen West, former Texas State Senator Don Huffines and Conservative Talk Show Host Chad Prather. The three answered questions from the public in the conference center at the Holiday Inn located on Broadway Avenue from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

During the event, one topic the candidates touched on was a sanctuary city ban passed and signed into law in 2017.

“We’ve already seen this governor bows down to the federal government and its mandates,” said Prather. “There’s no reason for me to think when it comes to sanctuary country that he wouldn’t do the same thing.”

The candidates also expressed how they plan to cut down on state spending and the state budget.

“What we have to do here in the state of Texas is move toward a zero based budget system that says every budget cycle that you’re going to justify every program that you’re going to justify every agency,” said West.

So far, Huffines currently leads his fellow candidates with a campaign that has raised more than $2 million. West comes in just behind Huffines, raising almost $2 million for his gubernatorial bid. Prather comes in third place in terms of campaign finance, having raised more than $100,000.

It is also important to note that while these challengers are currently running the top campaigns in the primaries, their incumbent opponent has long surpassed them with a campaign that has raised more than $18 million, making the upcoming primary election an uphill battle for the challengers.

This event was free and open to the public. For those that cannot attend in-person, the forum will be livestreamed and can be watched here.