Want to hear from the New Brunswick mayor candidates? Here's your chance

NEW BRUNSWICK – Two candidates are challenging the city’s longtime mayor in this year’s election, and voters may have a chance to hear from all of them during a virtual forum next month.

The League of Women Voters of Greater New Brunswick Area and the New Brunswick Area Branch of the NAACP will co-host the mayoral candidates’ forum at 7 p.m. Oct. 9.

Democratic Mayor James Cahill, who has continuously served as the city's mayor since 1991, has been invited to participate, while independent candidate Charles Kratovil and Republican candidate Maria C. Powell have both confirmed their participation, according to the organizers.

Cahill will not participate in the forum because of a scheduling conflict and will submit a written statement, according to a spokesman.

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The forum will be available to view Oct. 10 through Election Day on Nov. 8 at lwvgnba.com. New Brunswick residents are invited to submit questions for the candidates through Sept. 30 by emailing newbrunswickmayorforumquestions@yahoo.com.

Cahill, the city's 62nd mayor, has worked to transform the once industrial city into a 21st century urban center through partnerships with local health institutions, Rutgers University, Middlesex County and the city’s redevelopment partner, the New Brunswick Development Corporation, which has resulted in $5 billion invested in the construction of new residential, retail, office, educational and health care facilities, according to the city's website.

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Earlier this year plans were unveiled for 190 townhouses, 530 apartments, a restaurant and retail on the 30-acre Route 1 site of the shuttered Sears.

Powell's Facebook page describes her a businesswoman and the first Latina to run for mayor in New Brunswick.

She is looking to enhance public safety by working with both the New Brunswick and Rutgers police departments, remediate drinking water throughout the city and help businesses recover from the COVID shutdowns, according to her page.

Kratovil has spent recent weeks campaigning for safer working conditions for New Brunswick Department of Public Works employees and a federal investigation into alleged illegal practices during a Labor Day rally and stood in support of the families of the victims of a September 2021 Delafield Street shooting in which two men were killed and seven others injured after racketeering indictments involving alleged gang members were announced in the case.

He also released a Housing Justice Bill of Rights to address the high cost of housing in the city, which includes affordability at the center of all housing policies, strong renters rights, compassionate approaches to tackling homelessness and promotion of home ownership.

Email: srussell@gannettnj.com

Suzanne Russell is a breaking news reporter for MyCentralJersey.com covering crime, courts and other mayhem. To get unlimited access, please subscribe or activate your digital account today

This article originally appeared on MyCentralJersey.com: NJ elections: New Brunswick mayor candidates forum on Oct. 9