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New York ex-governor Spitzer to run for city comptroller

New York ex-governor Spitzer to run for city comptroller

Eliot Spitzer, who stepped down in 2008 over a prostitution scandal, is planning a return to political life with a run for New York City comptroller. In an interview on Sunday, July 7, 2013 Spitzer said he hoped city voters would give him a chance. Photo: Associated Press/Steven Senne

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Eliot Spitzer is re-entering politics to run for New York City comptroller, five years after resigning as New York governor in a prostitution scandal.

“I’m hopeful there will be forgiveness. I’m asking for it,” Spitzer, 54, told the New York Times in an interview on its website.

Spitzer, a Democrat, said he saw a more activist role for the comptroller, the city’s chief financial officer.

In comments to Reuters, he said he hoped voters were ready to move on and help him fulfill his dream to serve “on behalf of the public once again.”

He hoped the financial community would want someone “who understands markets” in the comptroller’s office, which he aimed to revitalize the way he did the attorney general’s office a decade ago.

The city comptroller manages five pension funds, does budget analyses, and audits city agencies.

Spitzer was dubbed the “sheriff of Wall Street” during his time as attorney general, when he aggressively prosecuted financial crimes. He became governor in 2007 but resigned after being identified as a client in a prostitution ring.

Spitzer, who became a television commentator after leaving public office, said he made the decision to run over the July 4th weekend.

Current comptroller John Liu is running for mayor.

The deadline for filing a petition to be on the September 10 primary ballot to succeed him is Thursday, by when Spitzer must collect 3,750 signatures.

He is expected to face off against Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer in a Democratic primary. Other candidates for comptroller include Republican John Burnett, a Wall Street executive, and former madam Kristin Davis.

Spitzer’s announcement comes as another scandal-tarnished New York Democratic politician, attempts a political comeback. Former U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner is a frontrunner in the New York mayoral race, two years after admitting sending lewd photographs of himself to women.

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