Democratic City Comptroller candidate Eliot Spitzer is getting warm receptions on the campaign trail, even though his appearances tend to be brief. Meanwhile, Scott Stringer moved forward with policy proposals Thursday as both men battle to become the city's chief financial watchdog. NY1's Zack Fink filed the following report.
He wasn't out for very long during his campaign stop at Brooklyn Borough Hall Thursday morning, but Eliot Spitzer didn't really need to be.
Instead of shaking hands, early-morning commuters were more interested in getting their photos taken with the former governor. Enough people seem to have forgiven Spitzer for transgressions that led to his resignation as governor five years ago.
"He who is without sin cast the first stone," said one person. "We are all sinners, and this is time to give this man a chance."
Spitzer took the adulation in stride.
"When you're in government, you learn, and my pollsters used to hate it, you live in a focus group," Spitzer said. "You get to measure the response of the public."
Spitzer shrugged off rumors that he is having an an extramarital affair.
"We've said everything that we can say about that," he said. "And these attacks are coming from out of left field, and frankly, the public cares about what the public should care about. The public, frankly, is a lot smarter in this regard than some folks in the media."
It has been like a tale of two candidacies. While Spitzer has basked in the glow of his celebrity, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer has embraced public policy initiatives to boost his name recognition and make an imprint as a dedicated public servant.
Stringer was in lower Manhattan Thursday to promote an East River waterfront plan. His office has also signed off on a controversial development plan near Grand Central station. Critics say it will make bad pedestrian traffic worse.
"East Midtown is an appropriate place for some development," Stringer said. "We always have to make sure that development doesn't overrun our infrastructure and overrun our neighborhoods. And we have been very successful in my office to find the right balance."
Stringer also criticized Spitzer for failing to participate in a candidate forum Thursday night.
"So if you want to skip this, you are also skipping out on the real discussions and the real issues facing the people in Laurelton, Queens," Stringer said.