Utica, NY (WIBX) - Robert Cardillo, the Republican candidate for Utica Mayor, is celebrating the endorsement of the Oneida County Conservative Party. Cardillo who is also backed by the Republican Party says the endorsement does not change his vision for Utica.

Cardillo said, "It doesn't change it at all, because quite frankly the Conservative Party, which screened all of the candidates for Mayor, decided that based on my experience and my credentials and my vision for Utica, they shared that same vision of smaller government but a more effective government, and a philosophy of helping to create a better economic climate for our community."

Cardillo says if Mayor David Roefaro changes his mind to enter the race again, he would welcome a debate with him or any other opponent, based on a professional exchange of ideas on the issues facing the City of Utica. Cardillo says he wants people to know that there is a passion involved in his run for Mayor.

He said, "I've had a very good career, I've been very blesses in my life. I've had the opportunity, having grown-up here, living here but also having the opportunity to be away from this community--working in New York City, working in Las Angeles,  working in Washington, having been down in the Gulf Coast in Mississippi, involved in 9/11, in the Katrina rebuilding in the Mississippi Gulf Coast. I've had a diverse background with seven and half years with the Department of Housing and Urban Development. I have the experience and the expertise to be able to change things in this community. Having been out there, having seen different things and being able to not necessarily reinvent the wheel, just bring it back here so we can build our economy and we can work with the cultural diversity that we have here."

Democrat Robert Palmieri , the city's former Codes Commissioner who was fired by Mayor Roefaro, was unanimously backed by the Utica Democratic Committee to run for Mayor.