Over the next month, the would-be senators will visit each parish to answer questions.
St Clement hosted the first that saw 12 of the 13 candidates speak to a packed parish hall.
The thirteenth, Chris Whitworth, was represented by a life-sized paper cut-out of himself.
He told BBC News that he left the cut-out because he felt the hustings were a waste of time.
Questions from the public ranged from what the candidates would do to help individuals to whether a referendum should be binding on the States.
|Darius Pearce - Bottled It|
Constable Len Norman, who has been a senator himself, chaired the discussion and said people were looking for candidates with a grasp of island-wide issues.
He said: "I think all of the candidates showed they had a grasp of those, some to a greater extent and some to a lesser."
Senator Alan Breckon, who is half way through his six-year term of office, said after the meeting that it looked like it would be a long campaign.
"It was a bit wearisome at times, it is difficult to answer questions in this form and some candidates are already showing their aptitude for that and others perhaps not so," he said.
The election candidates are: Sir Philip Bailhache, Freddie Cohen, Rose Colley, Linda Corby, Lyndon Farnham, Mark Forskitt, Ian Gorst, Francis Le Gresley, Sylvia Lagadu, Darius Pearce, David Richardson, Stuart Syvret, Christopher Whitworth.