Palmieri confident with lead in Utica Mayoral Race, Cerminaro not conceding

By ANDREW DONOVAN

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Democrat Robert Palmieri is confident with his lead in the Utica Mayoral Race, but the Republican candidate Michael Cerminaro has not yet conceded.

It was a historic race in the City of Utica as five candidates ran for the first time in history. In addition to Palmieri and Cerminaro, Robert Clemente of the Green Party, Conservative Robert Cardillo and Rainbow Party's Ernie Sanita all appeared on Tuesday's ballot.

With 98% of the precincts reporting, Palmieri led with 41% of the vote and Cerminaro had 37%. Only about 391 votes separate the two candidates.

According to the Oneida County Board of Elections, there are about 700 absentee ballots that need to be counted, changing the final vote totals and possibly swinging the race either way.

Palmieri would not officially declare a victory, and despite those changing numbers, he is already thinking about how he would change the City of Utica.

Palmieri told NEWSChannel 2, "Things have been going well all night. We worked really hard and I think the work's going to pay off and the end result is January First. We're going to start changing the city."

The Democrat says that his focus will be the quality of life of the residents of Utica. Once that is taken care of, he says, people will want to invest in the city.

Despite his confidence, Cerminaro would not concede the race.

Cerminaro said, "It's a case right now that there's just such an unknown out there. And when you're looking at anywhere from 600-700 absentee ballots, plus some of the updated numbers that we have, it becomes a very, very close race."

The next step is on the part of the Oneida County Board of Elections who will count the hundreds of absentee ballots.

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