Eliot Spitzer is getting his chance for political redemption, as Scott Stringer says he won't challenge the former Governor's petitions to run in the Democratic primary for City Comptroller. NY1's Josh Robin filed the following report.
The race is on.
"That petition thing is so few days ago," said Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, a Democratic candidate for City Comptroller. "Let's get into the fight now."
You can bet Eliot Spitzer will.
After filing seven times more petitions than he needed Thursday night, he went to Los Angeles Friday to tape The Tonight Show.
"Eliot is thankful to all the New Yorkers who signed petitions granting him a place on the ballot," a spokesperson for Spitzer's campaign said. "He looks forward to making the case every day for an independent comptroller for the City of New York."
Spitzer has no such nicety for his new rival. In fact, despite saying he would, he hasn't even called Stringer.
"And I'm a triple prime voter, so I was hoping, you know, he should call me," Stringer said.
Stringer will tap that humor, but is sharpening his attacks on Spitzer's stormy 14 months in the governor's mansion.
"Nobody wants the steamroller to steamroll New York, and nobody wants the drama of this race," Stringer said.
It's the acts drove Spitzer from office that most people remember. When it comes to that prostitution scandal, however, Stringer said he won't directly comment.
"Look, I have two kids," Stringer said. "There are some places I can't personally go."
What he admitted he needs to do is introduce himself outside Manhattan, where he's been borough president since 2006. He got a lot of blank stares in Downtown Brooklyn Thursday.
The Democrat will get slightly more public matching funds to run ads because Spitzer isn't participating in the campaign finance system.
Political consultant Dan Gerstein said Stringer also may benefit from independent groups targeting Spitzer, who is loathed in some quarters.
"If I was running his campaign, I would stay very positive, focused on establishing his credentials, his competency for the office, and let Eliot's enemies do the dirty work," Gerstein said.
Gerstein's experience is valuable. He worked for Thomas Suozzi, who was crushed by Spitzer in his last primary, which was for governor seven years ago.