Decision 2021

Candidates Do Final Campaigning in West Haven Mayor's Race

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In what’s been sometimes a heated race for West Haven mayor, Democrat Nancy Rossi is fighting to keep her job.

“I’m feeling good. I was out (Monday) and it was very positive this afternoon,” said Rossi.

She’s facing a challenge from Republican Barry Lee Cohen.

“You know I’m always worried. I have to worry. That’s why I’m out here,” said Cohen.

NBC Connecticut caught up with the business owner and current city councilor as he knocked on doors.

He’s concerned about economic development, public trust at City Hall, as well as quality of life issues such as roads.

“I have been working at this every day for the last six months and I tell you you get to love the city more and more. I’m a lifelong resident and being that lifelong resident I know we can and we must do better,” said Cohen.

The race was rocked after allegations came out of fraudulent activity involving federal Covid-19 money which led to the arrest of a former city worker and State Representative Michael DiMassa.

West Haven residents questioned officials about an ongoing investigation into alleged fraud involving Covid-19 relief funds during a city council meeting on Monday.

Rossi has defended her response to the issue, which she thinks voters will consider along with others including development.

On Monday, she and others announced New England Brewing Company plans to move its craft brewery to the former Savin Rock Conference Center.

“Good economic development because right now what we’re doing is we’re going to lease the land. The land belongs to the city. I want to keep it to the city because we have the most beautiful shorefront so why would you sell that land?” said Rossi.

Both candidates say turnout will be key, especially after what we’re told were low numbers during the primary.

Even after a pointed campaign, some voters are still waiting to make up their mind.

“At the end of the day we still got to vote. So about the time I get to the polls I’ll make my decision,” said Dave McClure of West Haven.

While we don’t know yet how Election Day will turn out, in 2019 Rossi easily won reelection with about 60% of the vote.

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