ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — As we draw near to the general election in November, Capitol Correspondent Amal Tlaige spoke with both Republican candidates for Attorney General and New York State Comptroller. While trailing behind in polls, both candidates are optimistic about their chances. 

A recent Siena Poll shows Democratic State Comptroller, Tom DiNapoli leading his Republican candidate, Paul Rodriguez by 21 points. Additionally, Attorney General Letitia James leads Republican Michael Henry, 50 to 36. How are Republican candidates planning on closing the gap in polls? Michael Henry says one issue he’s focusing on is crime, “Our current Attorney General has been the spur of anti-police rhetoric, she’s against qualified immunity and even recently she said that when it comes to cashless bail she needs more credible data before she would support any changes, and quite frankly that’s a despicable mindset for the chief law enforcement officer of the state to have because credible data means victims, and one victim is one victim too many,” he said.

Henry says he’s going to communities that Republicans have not traditionally gone to and is focusing on issues that transcend party affiliation, “I was in Rochester yesterday unfortunately for the third police funeral of a slain police officer I’ve attended in the last few months. I am tired of going to these funerals, I am tired of talking to victims, I’m tired of meeting the mothers, the sisters, the brothers of people that were killed.”

Paul Rodriguez says there’s two jobs for the state comptroller: to be the primary watchdog for taxpayers and correctly handle the pension fund, “So I think we really need someone who’s an outsider who will really have the courage to hold to account those who are in power,” he said.

Back in March, the State Comptroller’s office released a report that showed the number of COVID related nursing home deaths was undercounted by at least 4100. Rodriguez explains some of the issues handling that, “The first recommendation was to give them more money. When has given a bureaucrat or a politician – giving them more money – ever made them more ethical, more competent or more honest in their job?”

Rodriguez says part of the issue is the one-party rule with Democrats making up the super majority in New York State. He also says there’s a lack of ethics and accountability in New York politics he’s happy to tackle.