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Mayoral Candidates Respond To Idea Of "Comptroller Spitzer"

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Attention in the political world was temporarily diverted from the mayor's race on Monday as mayoral candidates responded to the announcement of former Governor Eliot Spitzer's intention to run for city comptroller. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.

Though former Rep. Anthony Weiner may know something about comebacks, the former congressman did not weigh in Monday on the idea of a "Comptroller Spitzer" while proposing a new tax incentive to bike to work in Chelsea.

"I am not paying a great deal of attention to the ins and outs of other races," said Weiner. "I think everyone was surprised, but it hasn't changed my life at all."

At the Chelsea event, Weiner did offer Spitzer a piece of advice.

"If I were to offer any candidate running for any office advice, it would be to focus on those things. Focus on what the middle class is looking for, try to talk about ideas," Weiner said.

Some of Weiner's Democratic rivals, however, hope to capitalize on Weiner and Spitzer sharing the same ticket – two politicians caught in sex scandals.

"Maybe these celebrities get attention for a period of time in the media, but I think the public does not take lightly a violation of trust," said Public Advocate Bill de Blasio.

"On some level though, this is a huge affront to women in New York City and far beyond," said City Comptroller John Liu.

"I don't think we have seen much from either of these men that would put them in a position where they would have earned a second chance, redeemed themselves from their selfish behavior and deserved a second chance by New York's voters," said City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.

Both Quinn and former City Comptroller Bill Thompson praised Spitzer opponent Scott Stringer, who has already racked up much of the support of the Democratic establishment.

"I have all of my support and all of my bets on Scott," said Quinn. "And no one should bet against him. He will be the next comptroller."

As for the current mayor, Mayor Michael Bloomberg was not eager to pass judgment on Spitzer's candidacy. Instead, he said it is up to voters.

"Anybody that wants to run should run," said the mayor. "I have said that repeatedly. The public should have a choice, and if you want to run and you qualify, you can run."

Redemption may not be a prerequisite.

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