"That allowed us to re-endorse," Mulhall said. "We voted unanimously to endorse Jeff, based on the information we gleaned from our interviews this summer. He was a close contender then, and it was only the influence of members of the committee who knew Pete that pushed him to the top during the interview process."
Mulhall said the Conservative party was greatly disappointed when Finocchiaro announced he would withdraw from the race after losing the Republican primary in September.
"We are very clear with our candidates that we expect them to continue campaigning, even if they lose a primary," Mulhall said.
According to Mulhall, the Conservative Party has been working on building its number since the public has become more and more vocal about the need for a third party. The activity levels within the Madison County Independence Party also have been on the rise under the leadership of Chairman Terry Karst of Oneida.
"When you are trying to grow a party, the last thing you want is to have an empty ballot line when you have the opportunity to run a candidate," Mulhall said. "We were thrilled the Republican Party provided us with the tremendous opportunity to put a candidate of Jeff's caliber on our line."
"I'm very happy with this turn of events," Aumell said Thursday morning. "When I interviewed in June, I was disappointed I didn't get the endorsement then. It has been a tradition that [former District Attorney] Don Cerio always ran on the Democratic and Conservative lines, and I was hoping to follow that tradition. It always means a lot to have the support of the party behind you, and that feels great."
Mulhall said the move takes literally Finocchiaro's desire to "level the playing field" for the remaining candidates, the reason he gave for exiting the race after the primary.