The race for Mayor of Utica just took a very interesting turn and Republicans aren't very happy about it.

Republican Robert Cardillo announced on Thursday that he has received the Conservative Party endorsement for the upcoming November election for Utica Mayor. Because the party opted against a primary, Cardillo will now have a spot on the November general election ballot, even if he loses the Republican Primary to fellow Republican Michael Galime in June.

Primary Day in New York is June 28th, and early voting runs from June 18th, through June 26th. In the Republican Primary, Cardillo is facing off against the Republican endorsed candidate, Mike Galime, who is currently the President of the Utica Common Council. If Cardillo wins the Republican Primary, there won't be an issue. But, if Galime wins the Primary, that's when things will get sticky.

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Cardillo was on WIBX's First News with Keeler on Thursday and said if he loses the GOP Primary, he will almost certainly stay in the race and run in November. That could mean two Republicans on the ballot, will be facing off against one Democrat and both sides agree that scenario will most likely split the Republican vote, thus possibly making it easier for the Democratic candidate to win.

A similar scene played out in 2011 when Cardillo last ran for mayor. Cardillo lost the Primary to Republican Mike Cerminaro, but stayed in the race on the Conservative line. That was the year Utica Mayor Rob Palmieri won by a narrow margin over Republican Mike Cerminaro. Cerminaro lost by less than 5-percent in that race, and Cardillo garnered about 18-percent of the vote. It's believed that Cardillo took votes away from the Republican, thus allowing Palmieri to pull-out the narrow victory.

Is there the possibility that four people could be vying for the Mayor's job in Utica?

Frank DiBrango and Celeste Friend will face off in the Democrat Primary on June 28th. DiBrango received the Republican nomination and Friend told WIBX today, that she has received the Working Families Party endorsement. So, it's possible that DiBrango could win the Democratic Party Primary, and Friend could stay in the race in November on the Working Families Party line.

Will it happen?

No, according to Celeste Friend. She told WIBX two weeks ago that while she is planning to win the Democratic Primary, if she doesn't, she will absolutely support the Democrat selected by the people.

Stay tuned. This is going to be an interesting year in local politics.

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