State Republicans may have a comptroller candidate.
Onondaga County Comptroller Robert Antonacci, who toyed with a run four years ago, is being touted as a potential challenger to state Comptroller Thomas Dinapoli, a Democrat seeking a second term in November.
“He’s well known to me and others. He would be a great candidate for comptroller,” State GOP chairman Ed Cox told Gannett’s Albany Bureau today. “There are conversations going on with him and we’ll see how that turns out, as well as with others.”
Antonacci referred calls about his potential candidacy to Onondaga County GOP chairman Tom Dadey. He could not immediately be reached for comment.
Updated: Dadey said that Cox reached out to Antonacci this afternoon to ask him to consider the race.
Antonacci “is considering it, and he’ll make a decision sometime next week,” Dadey said.
Republicans have yet to find a comptroller candidate as it rounds out its ticket in advance of the state convention May 14-15 in Westchester County. Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino will be the party’s gubernatorial nominee, and John Cahill, a former top aide to Gov. George Pataki, is expected to be the attorney general candidate.
Antonacci would give the ticket some geographical balance and also give them another candidate already in office.
Antonacci considered running for Congress this year, and four years ago considered running for state comptroller, but the party went with hedge-fund manager Harry Wilson, who narrowly lost to DiNapoli.
Later in 2010, Antonacci lost the GOP nomination for attorney general to Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan, 60 percent to 40 percent at the GOP convention.
He could be aided by a public-financing system adopted in the state budget for the office, but DiNapoli has rejected the program, saying it was ill conceived. DiNapoli would also have to give up 70 percent of its roughly $2 million in campaign cash.