Former Governor Eliot Spitzer may be thinking that if former Rep. Anthony Weiner can shake off a sex scandal and run for office, so can he. But the question remains whether voters are willing to forgive two politicians in one election year. NY1's Grace Rauh filed the following report.
Former Governor Eliot Spitzer has the name recognition and money to dive headfirst into the race for city comptroller. And if this were a normal year in New York politics, the big question would be whether New Yorkers are willing to forgive a politician who was forced from office by a sex scandal.
But Spitzer, some may argue, already has the answer to that question. He has seen former Rep. Anthony Weiner jump to the front of the mayor's race, only two years after sending lewd photos and messages to women he met online.
So now, the real question is: are voters willing to forgive not one, but two politicians in a single year?
"So far, in the mayor's race, New York City voters have rallied around Anthony Weiner. But whether they will have the energy to do that yet again for another candidate remains to be seen," said Fordham University professor Christina Greer.
Spitzer is entering the race at the last minute, with days to spare before the filing deadline. But despite the timing and the scandal fallout, he is poised to be a formidable opponent against Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, who is also running in the Democratic primary.
"Anyone who undersells Eliot Spitzer in this race is making a major mistake," said Democratic consultant Hank Sheinkopf. "He's won in the outer boroughs before, Scott Stringer has not. He's got the money that Scott Stringer doesn't have. He can put an organization together overnight."
Greer said Spitzer's entry may have a "trickle up" effect on the race for mayor as well, to the detriment of Weiner.
"It could hurt him in the sense that it does highlight the fact that New York City and New York State has been a hot bed of scandal and embarrassment," Greer said.
Spitzer is already stealing some of Weiner's spotlight. The former congressman's campaign has been the hot political story for weeks, but that is changing.
The former governor seems to be betting that he can follow in Weiner's footsteps. And in the much less contested race for city comptroller, he just might be able to pull off a win.