Bobby Valentine is up against Caroline Simmons, who has already knocked an incumbent mayor out of the game.READ MORE: NYS Democratic Party Chairman Jay Jacobs Apologizes For Comments About Buffalo Mayoral Primary Winner India Walton
CBS2’s Tony Aiello recently spoke with both candidates.
All signs point to a hard-fought final three weeks in the race for Stamford mayor. It’s getting more attention than usual with baseball legend Valentine in the lineup, running as an independent.
“The mayor needs to be loyal, he needs to have leadership qualities, he has to have experience. I’m passionate about my hometown of Stamford. They match. I’m doing it,” Valentine said. “Stamford is going to grow and it needs to grow properly.”
Valentine said improving school facilities will be a big focus if he wins.
“I need to change the perception of our schools because we graduate great students. We have great teachers. We don’t have very good buildings and we need to rebuild them,” he said.READ MORE: Campaign 2021: Republican Blakeman Says He Can Pull Off Upset Against Popular Democrat Curran In Nassau County Executive Race
Democrat Simmons benched the current incumbent, triumphing in a primary. She’s a state representative, a mother of two and is pregnant with her third. She’s also a Harvard graduate who once worked for the Department of Homeland Security.
“I want to be that leader to bring that bold vision to take our city to the next level and help the people of Stamford,” Simmons said.
Simmons also cited infrastructure as high on the next mayor’s to-do list.
“We need to modernize our city. We need to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to capture billions in federal funding that’s going to be coming to our state, and I’m ready on day one to be that mayor, to work to get that funding from Hartford and from the capital in Washington,” Simmons said.
They are two appealing candidates, so some voters might have a tough choice. Gov. Ned Lamont endorsed Simmons, saying she would be a “great mayor,” but called Valentine “a good guy, a real champion.”
The Republican dropped out and endorsed Valentine’s independent candidacy.MORE NEWS: Mayoral Candidates Take Issue With Apparent Failures Of De Blasio's Vision Zero Initiative, Offer Solutions To Improve Street Safety
The first major debate of the race is set for Oct. 19.