The former Republican mayors of Utica and Rome have changed their party affiliation and are now the city chairs of the Independence Party in their respective cities.

Tim Julian and Jim Brown joined WIBX First News with Keeler in the Morning to discuss why they changed parties and what they see in the local political landscape.

Additionally, they announced the party's endorsement of James Masucci to challenge current Oneida County Board of Legislators Chairman, Gerald Fiorini.

Masucci, a former Rome detective commander and past public safety commissioner for the city, has received the endorsement of the Independence Party.

Brown said Masucci had also secured the Conservative Party line, but was unsure if Masucci would run a primary to challenge Fiorini for the Republican line.

Brown accused past party leaders of guaranteeing those endorsements to incumbents.

''..those were guaranteed to the incumbents in the past, basically. Well, there's no more guarantees,'' Brown said (audio can be found in segment 1).

Also, while discussing the area's lack of growth, Julian had some very strong words regarding NY Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

''...We were gonna get a data center, 250-300 jobs,'' Julian said, but the center didn't locate here, instead going to former Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno's district.

''Joe Bruno, who I said at the time he should have been in the jail....Shel Silver, I'll say this also, should be in jail.  [He] should be in jail. And, the fact that people like [Assemblyman Anthony] Brindisi are not pushing for him to be in jail, is one of things that will be asked of him over and over and over again,'' Julian said (audio clip in segment 2).

And, interestingly, both former mayors said the 'best thing' that has happened to them was being voted out of office.

Listen to the full interview from WIBX First News with Keeler in the Morning: