Scott Stringer, who beat back a challenge in the Democratic primary by Eliot Spitzer and then trounced Republican John Burnett, was sworn in Wednesday afternoon as the 44th Comptroller of the City of New York on the steps of City Hall.

In a page straight from the Bill de Blasio mayoral playbook, the former Manhattan borough president promised to make the office into "a think-tank for innovation and ideas" that would empower the weak, strengthen the middle class and level the playing field for all New Yorkers.

"There will be those who say that we as a city cannot afford to tackle poverty and inequality. As comptroller, I say we can't afford not to," Stringer told the crowd."Pursuing a progressive agenda and being fiscally responsible is not mutually exclusive. We can and must do both," added Stringer, who also promised to "double down" on solving homelessness, improving infrastructure and bettering job opportunities while protecting the city's "double-A bond rating."

The comptroller manages the city's pension funds, assets and debt; conducts audits on city agencies, sells and markets municipal bonds, and provides financial advice. Stringer is replacing Comptroller John Liu, who waged an unsuccessful campaign for mayor.