STATEN ISLAND — With polls set to close at 9 p.m. on primary day, the candidates in the hotly contested Mid-Island City Council race hit the streets in an attempt to get last-minute votes.
"I'm going to polling site to polling site saying 'Hi' to voters, reminding them I'm here and making sure they're voting for me," said Democratic candidate John Mancuso. "I get a great response."
Mancuso, who was at the polling site at All Saints Episcopal Church in Westerleigh on Tuesday afternoon, said he planned to bounce between other places all day until his results party.
An auxiliary police officer, youth minister, former small business owner and chief of staff for City Councilman Vincent Gentile, Mancuso said he would focus on relief for Hurricane Sandy victims and expanding public transportation if elected.
He said he thought his chances against Mendy Mirocznik for the Democratic spot were good, and he said he expected to celebrate Tuesday night.
"I think my chances are excellent," he said. "I have tons of volunteers, tons of support. We're doing everything the right way. I'm confident there will be a victory party tonight."
Mirocznik, a longtime court attorney to an acting New York Supreme Court justice and president of the Council of Jewish Organizations for Staten Island, said he was on the streets and on the phone since about 6 a.m. Tuesday, trying to meet as many voters as he could before the polls closed.
"I take this very seriously," he said. "[I've been] working the phones and talking to people, whatever it has to take to meet people today."
He said he would look to make it easier for small businesses and homeowners if elected, by working on the high bridge toll, water bills and property taxes.
Mirocznik said it was humbling seeing his name on a ballot for the first time, and he was "cautiously optimistic" that he would win.
"I think we're on the right track," he said. "I think we're doing well, I'm very optimistic."
Republican candidate Steven Matteo, chief of staff for Councilman James Oddo, headed to several polling sites early in the morning before voting with his family at P.S. 30 in Westerleigh at 11 a.m.
Matteo, who has had a fiery battle with opponent Lisa Giovinazzo for the Republican spot, said he expected to cinch a win.
"I'm extremely confident," he said. "I look forward to a great, resounding victory tonight. It's been a great campaign."
Matteo voted with his son Steven, 2, in his arms and said it was a proud day for his family seeing his name on the ballot for the first time.
"It's a proud moment," he said. "It's a proud day for all of us, and it's great to share that with my wife and parents."
Matteo said he would focus on continuing Sandy recovery and try to start a redevelopment plan to buy out homeowners in hard-hit areas, but give them the right to return if new, safer, houses are built.
Giovinazzo did not respond to a request for comment.
The Democratic and Republican winners will face off in November to compete for Oddo's seat. Oddo is running for borough president.