Former Gov. George Pataki gave a thumbs up to the comptroller-only public financing program in the state budget, saying lawmakers in Albany and Gov. Andrew Cuomo “did it exactly the right way.”

“Let’s try it out,” Pataki said on Wednesday. “Let’s put in place a pilot program, see if in fact it does help to make a fairer, more balanced, less special-interest influenced system.”

“I think the idea of doing a pilot experiment makes sense,” Pataki added.

Pataki arrived at the state Republican convention in Westchster County as his former top aide and current law partner, John Cahill, is expected to be nominated for attorney general.

The public financing agreement has resulted in an ironic twist: As Republicans have generally opposed public financing, GOP candidate for comptroller Bob Antonacci has said he will participated in the system.

Incumbent Democratic Comptroller Tom DiNapoli has blasted the public financing compromise, in part, for taking effect in this current election cycle.

Advocates for public financing are still holding out for a broader, statewide public financing agreement.

In recent weeks, Cuomo has made a public show of pushing for the issue, including an op/ed on The Huffington Post website.

Liberal advocacy groups, along with the Working Families Party, have remained restive over supporting Cuomo given the public financing issue.

Still, some believe Antonacci’s participation in the program could put Senate Republicans in a box on the issue, with Cuomo potentially pointing to a Republican’s involvement as a bipartisan approval.