DiNapoli, nominated for re-election, talks of family, restored confidence

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New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, left, is New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, left, is greeted by state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman after DiNapoli's nomination acceptance speech, during the opening session of the state's Democratic convention in Melville on Wednesday, May 21, 2014. Photo Credit: AP / Richard Drew

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Democrats nominated state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli for re-election Wednesday, as the party's convention kicked off in Melville.

DiNapoli, in his acceptance speech, said he's restored confidence in the state pension system and uncovered nearly $1 billion worth of waste, fraud and abuse during his seven years in office.

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He said he's "restored confidence" to a state pension plan "that was dragged into scandal" -- a reference to his predecessor, Alan Hevesi, who resigned in disgrace as part of a plea-bargain deal.

Hevesi was convicted in the investigation of "pay to play" practices when he served as comptroller -- the state's chief auditor and manager of New York's public-employee pension fund -- from 2003-06. He was serving a 1- to 4-year sentence for "receiving reward for official misconduct." Hevesi was released from prison in December 2012.

DiNapoli took office in 2007.

The Great Neck Democrat also talked of his upbringing, choking up when talking about the sacrifices his mother and father made for him. He talked of his father, a "cable splicer for the phone company" and of growing up in a union household.

“They taught me the value of hard work, family loyalty and the importance of being a good neighbor,” DiNapoli said, his voice trembling for a moment. "My parents worked with their hands. And their greatest hope was to have their children go to

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college. Their sweat and sacrifice made that goal possible for my brother and me."

DiNapoli faces Onondaga County Comptroller Robert Antonacci. The Syracuse Republican has said he will avail himself of a newly created system for using public funds to run for comptroller. DiNapoli won't.

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