NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) — The race for Niagara Falls mayor is heating up and on Tuesday, thousands will head to the polls to vote for who they want to represent the city.

Incumbent Robert Restaino, who has served as the city’s mayor since January 2020, hopes to continue serving the city as mayor.

“We are confident that we’ve done the work for the community,” Restaino said.

He says he brought financial stability to the city, even through a pandemic.

“I think that what we’ve become is a more responsible government, one that is also responsive to needs in the community, we’re making good on promises to the parks, improving public safety investment, we’ve delivered,” he said.

Restaino won the Democratic primary in June, beating out community activist Demetrius Nix. Nix is still running on the independent line and is feeling good going into election day.

“Great, election day is Tuesday the community is really behind bringing resources and issues to the forefront,” Nix said.

Nix served time behind bars for manslaughter when he was a teenager. He says that crime is a problem in the city and he wants to help solve it. Nix is also vying to become the city’s first Black mayor.

“For so long I just felt like.. the killings are so high in the city, there’s so many shootings [it] gets scraped under the rug,” Nix said. “But it’s my friends, my family, those close to me that’s dying so this was a big issue that someone had to address it.”

Republican candidate Carl Cain says based on his background in law enforcement as a retired deputy police chief, he’s more qualified to fix the issue of high crime in Niagara Falls. Cain says his supporters want to see someone new step up.

Cain was the Niagara Falls deputy police chief from 2013-19 and served in both the New York State Air National Guard (1985-04) and the New York State Army National Guard (2004-12).

“That’s why people are voting for me, they’re voting for me because they want change,” Cain said. “I spent the bulk of my career in community relations, I have a background dealing with the business community, dealing with the block clubs, the youth the boys and girls club. My relationships would definitely help out in my position as candidate for mayor.”

A Democrat has won every race for Niagara Falls mayor since 2003.

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Sarah Minkewicz is an Emmy-nominated reporter and Buffalo native who has been a part of the News 4 team since 2019. Follow Sarah on Twitter @SarahMinkewicz and click here to see more of her work.