New York Republicans on Monday designated Paul Rodriguez for state comptroller, backing his bid to challenge longtime incumbent Tom DiNapoli this year. 

Rodriguez in his acceptance speech pledged to be a "champion for the taxpayers" if elected. He last ran for office in 2021, when he was the New York City comptroller candidate for the GOP. 

Rodrigeuz also vowed to shift what has been a policy of DiNapoli's office: leveraging the state pension's billions of dollars to achieve change from private-sector firms New York invests in. 

"The state pension fund should not be used to virtue signal and certainly should not be used to destory industries like natural gas," Rodriguez said in a speech that included some lines in Spanish. 

DiNapoli has served as state comptroller since 2007, when he was selected by state lawmakers to replaced Alan Hevesi. DiNapoli has since become the longest-serving Democratic official in the state.