ONONDAGA COUNTY, N.Y. -- Onondaga County's Comptroller is ready to make a run for the same job at a much higher level. Robert Antonacci is running as the Republican candidate for state comptroller.
"The next comptroller of the State of New York, Comptroller Bob Antonacci," said Onondaga County Republican Chairman Thomas Dadey.
It had come together quickly. Urged on by state chairmen of both the republican and conservative parties, Robert Antonacci made his decision over the weekend to seek the state job.
"It's a sprint to the finish line. I mean, November is only 5 ½ months away, give or take. It will be an all out effort, 24/7, seven days a week to get our message out," said Robert Antonacci, a candidate for New York State Comptroller, a Republican.
"Bob Antonacci is going to need democrat votes to win in the state of New York. Bobby has that crossover appeal that is so desperately needed to win a general election," said Dadey.
The Comptroller race features an experiment. Public financing is available for the campaign.The democrat who holds the job, Thomas DiNapoli, says he will not participate in public financing. Antonacci says he will.
"I am very proud that I will participate in the taxpayer funded program of campaign finance reform. It is certainly something that allows me to be immediately viable to tell the message to taxpayers of what we need to do to bring New York State back," said Antonacci.
With degrees and licenses in accounting and law, the Onondaga County official says he will treat the money with care.
"I have two licenses that I could lose if I screw this thing up. Okay? I'm putting that on the line and I will protect that money as if it's my own," said Antonacci.
Antonacci, a onetime Independence Party member, first ran for his job as a democrat. He lost and shifted to the GOP, where he ran and won. He also ran, briefly, for Attorney General in 2010 and had considered a run for Congress this year.
Critics, like republican Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney, have criticized the Comptroller in the past for using audits to gain attention.
"His name gets bandied about for bigger jobs all the time. I think he knows that he needs to have his name out there and I think he looks for any opportunity he can to get that publicity that he wants for the next job he wants. Whatever that is," said Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney, a Republican.
Antonacci supporters say he has done a credible job and has the credentials to do credible work in Albany.