By Dee DeQuattro, WPRO News
Central Falls voters head to the polls today to select a new mayor.
Former Police Chief Joseph Moran III and 27-year-old city councilman James Diossa are facing off for the top spot in the financially strapped city.
Diossa said that he hopes he can bring a new direction to the city while Moran said his priority is to spur business growth and development in the city.
“What I said to the people of Central Falls is look to bring industry into our vacant mills and hopefully give people the opportunity to begin some work and take them out of the atmosphere that we have been under for the receivership and the bankruptcy,” Moran told the WPRO Morning NEws with Tara Granahan and Andrew Gobeil.
If Diossa is elected Mayor he will be the youngest mayor in the state but he says he is not too young to lead the city. “I’m old enough to know that we need a new direction in this city and I want to build a coalition to do just that,” Diossa told the WPRO Morning News with Tara Granahan and Andrew Gobeil.
“I have been on the council for three years, I have worked really hard, I made sure every decision I made was in the best interests of my constituency. So, I am ready to take on this role and change the direction of Central Falls,” said Diossa.
The office is a nonpartisan office but partisan politicians throughout the state have taken an interest in Diossa. Diossa enjoys the endorsement of most of the state’s top Democrats, including Providence Mayor Angel Taveras and Senators Reed and Whitehouse, but Moran said that does not matter. “The only endorsement I am really concerned with is the Central Falls people because the others don’t matter with all due respect for everyone involved,” said Moran. Moran said that he thinks today’s election results will be different than the mayoral primary result where Diossa had a tremendous victory with 59% of the vote in a four way race.
The city will have eight polling places open today until 8 p.m. and they are planning for an estimated 20% turnout.
The winner of the special election will replace former Mayor Charles Moreau who resigned in disgrace while facing federal corruption charges.