Mayor William Quinlan, a Democrat seeking his second four-year term in office, made sure he would emerge from Tuesday's primary with at least one, if not two, spots on the November ballot.
He has the Working Families nomination, but lost the Democratic primary with less than 45 percent of the vote. Ward 2 Alderwoman Joyce Melfi won with 55 percent of the votes, or 609 votes to Quinlan's 494.
The primary eliminated only one of the six candidates who had declared their intentions by Tuesday. Ward 4 Alderman Robert Sader, a Republican, failed to get the Republican Party nod in that three-way race and was not nominated by another party.
For now, Quinlan is staying put on the Working Families line, which claims around 40 eligible voters in the city. He said many of his supporters urged him to stay in the contest, but he is evaluating how to proceed. He said any announcement about dropping out and throwing his support to another candidate would come in a week or so.
Ward 1 Alderman Glenn R. Van Dixon announced late Tuesday that he too will stay in the race, keeping his fallback position on the Conservative line, which he won with 25 votes against Melfi's 20 votes.
With only 113 absentee ballots outstanding, it was certain that Van Dixon lost his own party's primary nomination to Olean businessman and political newcomer David J. Carucci, who received 51 percent, or 509 votes. Van Dixon took just under 25 percent and Sader received almost 24 percent of the Republican votes.
Another mayoral hopeful, Steve Paoletto, a fifth candidate for mayor, will appear on the ballot as a candidate of the Human Party.
Quinlan partially blamed what he considered a light turnout.
"I would imagine all the candidates are disappointed in the turnout," he said, adding the general election in November will attract more voters.
"I felt good about it all the way through [the campaign] from people that we were talking to, which were the voters in the Democratic Primary," Quinlan said. But he acknowledged Melfi's campaign efforts.
"Joyce worked very hard and she has a good organization," Quinlan said.