Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente will again be making a public endorsement in the state's governor's race soon, but don't bet on him backing incumbent Democrat Andrew Cuomo again.

Joining WIBX First News with Keeler in the Morning recently, Picente, a Republican, was very complimentary of GOP gubernatorial candidate and current Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro.

''Marc and I have been friends for a long time, before he was a county executive...and, I believe Mark will make a great governor,'' Picente said, adding that he believed his Dutchess County counterpart had done a 'great job' evening saying Molinaro could be one of the 'most qualified' candidates to run for New York governor in state history.

 

In 2014, Picente took a lot of criticism for crossing party lines to support Cuomo instead of GOP Challenger Rob Astorino. At the time, Picente cited investments in Nano Utica and the Utica Memorial Auditorium (Adirondack Bank Center), among others, as examples of Andrew Cuomo paying attention to upstate, and specifically Oneida County.

 

You could certainly argue that Adk Bank Center - home to the AHL's, Utica Comets, Utica College sports, and Utica FC arena soccer - has never looked better; and that the assist came from Albany. But the statewide nanotechnology quest was destroyed by corruption and other Cuomo initiatives have been brought down by pay-to-play convictions, too. Although the Utica Nano project wasn't tarred by these scandals, promised projects were impacted by them and the Marcy campus of SUNY Poly is yet to land a major employer.

Reflecting on the last gubernatorial election, Picente told the Keeler in the Morning Show:

''...four years ago, because I still get criticized by Republicans, Democrats, Conservatives, Independents about the endorsement. I did what was best for my community and I stand by that because of what we had achieved and what we were gaining. And that's what my decision will be based on again.'' -- Anthony Picente on WIBX First News with Keeler in the Morning

Picente was also asked if he planned to make an endorsement in the NY-22 congressional race with incumbent Republican Claudia Tenney and Democrat Anthony Brindisi.

''I'm gonna stay out of that race,'' said Picente, who has been a vocal critic of Tenney as a member of Congress and previously as a state assembly representative. More recently he blasted her as ''once again'' speaking before thinking when she was critical of eminent domain use in the area's effort to build a new half-billion dollar hospital in downtown Utica.