GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Two people are running for the mayor of Greenville this year. The Greenville-Pitt Chamber of Commerce hosted a candidate forum on Tuesday to let people get to learn some of their priorities.

Current Greenville mayor P.J. Connelly and Barbara Gaskins are both looking to earn your vote. Connelly has served as the mayor for the past three terms. If re-elected, he hopes to continue his job in office.

“I look forward to continuing the progress,” he said. “We have a lot of great things happening. A lot of work still to do, but I think we have a lot of great things happening.”

Current Greenville Mayor P.J. Connelly (Erin Jenkins, WNCT photo)

Gaskins is new to Greenville politics, but she grew up in the city. If she’s elected, she hopes to make her hometown a better place to live.

“When I left there was issues, such as affordable housing, small businesses and crime,” she said. “I come back and it’s still the same issues. I just felt the need to step up.”

Both candidates said safety is a top priority.

Barbara Gaskins (Erin Jenkins, WNCT photo)

“It’s important to work together with our police department,” Connelly said. “We know there is a deficiency with our police. We lack a lot of officers, but we have to find ways to trust our officers and our officers have to trust us.”

“Public safety is extremely important, whether that’s with our police or our fire and rescue departments,” Connelly said. “We want to make sure we are fully funded in both of those departments and with the resources for them to be successful.”

Both candidates said they’ll also look into various ways to bring economic growth to the city.

“I think it’s important to have high-quality jobs so that our citizens can have good-paying jobs, good lifestyles, and live the way they want to,” Connelly said.

“We need to grow our small businesses and have our students come back and be entrepreneurs,” Gaskins said. “Affordable housing all ties into that because we got to have somewhere to stay.”

Candidates running for Greenville City Council were also at the forum.

You can vote for these candidates this election season. Early voting starts on Thursday. Election day is Nov. 7.