ATTLEBORO, Mass. (WPRI) — The four candidates for Attleboro mayor squared off for the first time Wednesday ahead of next month’s special election.

The candidates, Attleboro City Council President James DiLisio, councilor Cathleen DeSimone, former councilor John Davis and Timothy Barone, are all vying to succeed Paul Heroux, who was sworn in as Bristol County sheriff last week.

The Attleboro High School Student Council hosted Wednesday night’s debate, which covered a variety of topics.

DiLisio, who’s currently serving as acting mayor, said his main goals are to protect taxpayers and ensure the safety of the city’s drinking water.

“Attleboro is at a crossroads right now, and we need a leader who’s going to make bold choices and bold decisions,” he said.

DeSimone said she’s focused on sustainability and attracting new busineses.

“I think there’s a lot of good I can do for this city,” she said. “I like the direction we’re headed in. I think I can bring bold, new leadership that’s a little bit more inclusive and innovative.”

Political newcomer Timothy Barone hopes to create a welcoming environment for small businesses. But his top concern is to provide residents with bigger trash cans.

“I grew up here,” Barone said. “I went out to [Los Angeles] for a bit and came back … I just want to [give back] to the city that made me.”

Davis said he’s spent his life in public service and he didn’t want to miss out on an opportunity to lead the city.

“We need to get back to the basic fundamentals,” Davis said. “We need to improve our infrastructure and do things that the majority of the people already agree on.”

The special election is scheduled for Feb. 28. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.