Politics of personality took place in the race for comptroller on Friday, as candidates Scott Stringer and Eliot Spitzer pointed to family and lineage while battling for votes. NY1's Josh Robin filed the following report.
New Yorkers may have seen Elyse Buxbaum with her husband, the city comptroller candidate Scott Stringer. Now, Buxbaum is stumping on her own, or rather, with her 11-week-old son Miles.
Miles Stringer doesn't seem to like politics, at least not yet, although he was the darling of a Forest Hills senior center on Friday.
Buxbaum doesn't want to talk about former Governor Eliot Spitzer or the prostitution scandal that drove him from office, but voters can't miss the wholesome image that the mother-and-son team channel.
"I'm here because I wanted to support my husband and let people know about his honesty, his integrity, his experience and his leadership, and I think coming out and meeting the voters is the best way to do it," Buxbaum said.
Spitzer hasn't campaigned with his family, but his ancestors also seemed to play a supporting role on Friday as he moseyed through Borough Park.
"It is in my blood. Literally and figuratively, my heritage is within the Jewish community," Spitzer said. "I am not as observant as folks in Borough Park."
That much was clear when the never-bar-mitzvahed Spitzer leafed through a prayer book upside down.
His room to grow in Hebrew didn't seem to bother passersby, however, nor did his indiscretions.
Resident:The only guy you can trust for this job.
Josh Robin: Do you know the other guy's name?
Josh Robin: Stringer.
Resident: Stringer, yeah. But I heard that, I know that [Spitzer] was governor of New York, was AG before that. Did an excellent job."
Stringer, meanwhile, shook hands in Canarsie, his eager smile undiminished by the limited recognition there, too.
"We have ground to make up because we just started our big media campaign," Stringer said. "So as I've said all along, the more people get to know me, the more people feel me on television and the mail, I think you're going to see us grow in recognition, and it's starting to happen."
Stringer does have a commercial running that introduces himself, but observers see this election as more a referendum on Spitzer, and polls find a growing number of New Yorkers willing to give the former governor a second chance.