The Journal News
May 7, 2014
ALBANY – Onondaga County Comptroller Robert Antonacci on Wednesday launched his campaign for state comptroller, saying he will opt into a new public campaign financing system for the race.
Democratic Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has advocated for a public-financing system, but he and advocates have opposed the current law, saying it doesn’t give him enough time to prepare, has a number of flaws and would require him to relinquish about 70 percent of the $2 million in his coffers.
But Antonacci said he’ll embrace the system and will level the playing field with big-money donors.
“There’s nobody in my immediate family who has the ability to finance a statewide campaign, and I think that the reform of not being beholden to special interests will work in my campaign,” Antonacci said in an interview with the Albany Bureau. “The only people we are going to be beholden to are the taxpayers.”
Antonacci said he will be tapped as the Republican nominee at the GOP convention next week in Westchester County to challenge DiNapoli in November.
The Albany Bureau reported last week that Antonacci was being sought for the post.
Antonacci rounds out the GOP ticket. Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino will be the GOP nominee for governor, and John Cahill of Yonkers, a former top aide to Gov. George Pataki, is expected to be the attorney general candidate.
Antonacci was elected twice to his current position and has considered runs for Congress, as well as comptroller in 2010.
“In Onondaga County, I’ve proven I’m not afraid to stand up and fight against government inefficiency. I’ve performed countless audits and have worked with officials of both parties to find solutions. I want to take this experience and bring it to our state government,” Antonacci said in a statement.
He’s a lifelong resident of central New York and a graduate of Le Moyne College. He has a law degree from Syracuse University.
In a statement, DiNapoli welcomed Antonacci to the race. DiNapoli will be seeking a second term.
“I welcome Bob Antonacci to this race and look forward to talking to the voters about the issues important to working families across New York state,” DiNapoli said in a statement. “I’m proud of my record of protecting taxpayers and restoring integrity to this office.”