SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - It's election day in western Mass.

Preliminary elections are taking place in Springfield and Greenfield.

Both cities have mayoral races on the ballot.

Four names are on the ballot for Springfield mayor - incumbent Domenic Sarno, Yolanda Cancel, Jeffery Donnelly, and Linda Matys O'Connell.

Although O'Connell did suspend her campaign earlier this Summer, her name remains on the ballot, but we caught up with Mayor Sarno and Yolanda Cancel earlier today.

Two people will move forward in the race for Springfield mayor come November.

Incumbent Domenic Sarno tells Western Mass News, after being elected in 2007, his team has made great strides in the city.

"To see where we’ve come from, from the devastating tornado in 2011, the financial stability and strength, the economic development, $4.7 billion in economic development, well over 5,000 new jobs created, many, many projects going on in our neighborhoods," Mayor Sarno tells us.

Mayor Sarno says these accomplishments are due to his strong administration, partnership with other city officials, community involvement, and even the help of Governor Charlie Baker.

"You can’t put a price tag on a moral boost. People feel good about the city of Springfield. I’m not saying it’s a panacea. Urban centers, we face many challenges, but we’re going in the right direction," stated Mayor Sarno.

But Yolanda Cancel says it's time for change.

She was inspired to run for mayor after experiencing violence in the city firsthand.

"It first started because my son had gotten shot in May and I felt that the crime rate is just getting worse instead of getting better. There’s not just the gun violence. It is violence period," explained Cancel.

Cancel says her goal is to put the focus on families first.

"I worry about what’s going on up in the hill. I worry about what’s going on in our communities. My focus is not so much downtown, even though we do need economic development downtown to look a little better, but we have to focus more on our families or all the trouble is going to trickle down," added Cancel.

Both Mayor Sarno and Cancel could not express enough the importance of getting out and voting today.

Ballots cast in today's preliminary election have a big impact on the general election in November.

Polls are open until 8:00 p.m.

Copyright 2019 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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