Onondaga County’s top financial officer will challenge his state-wide counterpart in the November election. Bob Antonacci says he can use the comptroller post to turn around New York.
Antonacci, the Republican Onondaga County comptroller, is a lawyer and certified public accountant. He says his background on the county level has prepared him for Albany.
He was asked last week by state GOP officials to challenge Democrat Thomas DiNapoli.
"When you’re the captain of the team, and the team’s losing, it’s time to replace the captain," he said. "New York is not leading in the categories it should be in leading in and maybe it’s time for a change."
Antonacci says he will take public financing for his campaign. DiNapoli has said he will not.
"And I will use that money to put out the message so that the taxpayers have a choice," Antonacci. "The taxpayers are basically making an investment in my campaign so they have a choice between two men who take New York, for the next four years, hopefully back to the promised land."
He kicked off his campaign at the Onondaga County GOP headquarters in Syracuse Wednesday, joined by his family.
Antonacci and DiNapoli both took on their respective comptroller posts in 2007.
DiNapoli says he welcomes the competition, but anticipates victory.
"I feel I have a very strong record in terms of what we've done to promote taxpayer accountability, manage the state pension fund, restore integrity to the office," DiNapoli said Wednesday morning in Plattsburgh.
DiNapoli took over the comptroller post amidst a scandal involving his predecessor.
The state comptroller manages the state’s pension plan and audits state and local agencies and their contracts.
The state GOP’s nominating convention is next week.