Former Rep. Anthony Weiner insists that Eliot Spitzer's last-minute campaign for city comptroller is not affecting his mayoral bid at all, but while Weiner may not like it, the former governor's re-entry into the political arena is poised to reshape the race for City Hall. NY1's Grace Rauh filed the following report.
For the second day in a row, former Rep. Anthony Weiner faced questions Tuesday about former Governor Eliot Spitzer.
It is easy to compare the two politicians. Both saw their careers cut short because of sex scandals.
"It doesn't change my approach one wit," Weiner said. "I think that I'm getting rewarded by citizens for talking about the issues they care about."
Weiner nevertheless may be hurt by Spitzer's entry into the race for city comptroller. The former governor's new campaign is reminding voters about Weiner's past once again.
"Do I look concerned? I'm not," Weiner said.
Some argue that City Council Speaker Christine Quinn stands to benefit the most. With two men caught in sex scandals running for citywide office, she stands out even more as the only woman in the race for mayor.
"Obviously, yesterday was a bit of a circus of sorts," Quinn said Tuesday.
She is using Spitzer's redemption bid as an opportunity to sharpen her attacks against Weiner.
"Anthony Weiner in Congress passed one bill, at the request of a campaign supporter," Quinn said. "That's not delivering results."
Of course, the candidate to suffer the most directly from Spitzer's run is his Democratic opponent in the city comptroller contest, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer.
While Stringer enjoys widespread support from the Democratic establishment, not all of his supporters were quick to denounce his new rival.
"Eliot has shown a strong background before in government," said Democratic mayoral candidate William Thompson, a former city comptroller. "And honestly, would he make a good comptroller? I'm sure he would."
Meanwhile, Thompson won the backing of the city's firefighters union Tuesday. The union endorsed Weiner for mayor in 2005.
"Two thousand five was a long, long, long, long time ago," said Steve Cassidy, president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association. "Plus, he quit on us. New York City firefighters don't quit."
This time around, it seems Weiner, and Spitzer, are not interested in quitting, either.
NY1 To Air Debate Of GOP Mayoral Candidates
TWC News: Mayoral Candidates Face More Questions About Spitzer's Comptroller Campaign
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NY1 will air a one-hour-long Republican debate in the race for mayor Wednesday night at 7 p.m.
It will feature John Catsimatidis, Joseph Lhota and George McDonald, the first televised debate with the three candidates.
NY1 political anchor Errol Louis is moderating.
The hour-long debate will also stream live on NY1.com.
NY1 will a special half-hour analysis show afterwards.
A replay of the debate will air on NY1 at 10 p.m.