Utica, NY (WIBX) - Bob Cardillo says he's fully committed to stay in the race for Utica Mayor. The candidate who lost the Republican Primary in September still carries the Conservative and Independence Party lines. Cardillo says the race should not be about personality, but rather about how each candidate plans to address some of the critical issues the area is facing, such as the poverty rate and chronic unemployment.

He said, "What we need to do in this community is to focus on jobs and the economy.  The unemployment rate is staggering--20 percent of the people in the City of Utica are below the poverty level in terms of income. Those are important issues. We can not move forward unless we address those issues, and that's what I intend to do in these last few weeks." Cardillo also challenged his opponents to hold debates and have a "serious exchange of ideas" on how to move the city forward.

Cardillo said,  "Let's talk about issues, not let's talk about personality--that's the problem with this community. Nobody gives anybody a straight answer because people don't want to face the truth, and some people can't handle the truth. We need to tell people what's going on in this community. When I talk about the poverty level, it's not a joke, it's not a funny issue."

The candidate also highlighted what he's witnessed on the campaign trail in his run for office and gives an example of the hardship many face in the community. "Go to West Utica and drive around. It looks like Katrina without the water, and I know, because I worked Hurricane Katrina. I saw the devastation that that flood did. That took a flood to create it, this took 25 years of mismanagement," he said.

Cardillo who asked the courts for a recount after the September Primaries also announced the completion of the recount and the settlement of his challenge. The candidate also replaced his Media Consultant, saying that his campaign is taking on more of a grassroots approach and "will be doing things a little differently" leading to the November elections.

Currently there are 5 candidates running for Mayor of Utica; Bob Cardillo, Mike Cerminaro, Rob Palmieri, Ernie Sanita and Robert Clemente.