New York Republicans have looked across the aisle in search of a candidate to challenge Democratic incumbent Thomas P. DiNapoli for state comptroller this year.
Jonathan Trichter, a Democratic campaign operative who has worked for top Democratic candidates like former Gov. Eliot L. Spitzer and New York City mayoral candidate Mark J. Green, announced he will seek the GOP and Conservative nods at the May convention in Manhattan. State Republicans noted, however, that Trichter also worked for unsuccessful Republican Harry J. Wilson in the 2010 comptroller’s contest against DiNapoli.
The party, greatly outnumbered in registration by Democrats and facing a steep uphill climb against DiNapoli, appears to be supporting the Trichter candidacy with public encouragement from state GOP Chairman Edward F. Cox and his Conservative counterpart, Michael R. Long.
Trichter said this week he will approach Albany as an outsider.
“The comptroller came to office not because he was qualified but because he was everybody’s best friend in Albany,” Trichter said. “It’s no surprise, then, that he has brought to bear the powers of that office to protect the Albany status quo. I don’t have any friends in Albany. I will use the powers of the comptroller to protect ordinary New Yorkers.”
DiNapoli won a second full term in 2014 when he defeated Onondaga County Comptroller Robert Antonacci. Some Republicans have noted their difficulty in finding candidates for “down ballot” posts like comptroller, leading them to this year turn to a Democrat. The party has yet to announce a candidate to challenge Democratic incumbent Eric T. Schneiderman for attorney general.
DiNapoli enters this election year with more than $2.2 million in his campaign treasury and the ability to raise much more if needed.