The West Indian American Day Parade is a must-see event for candidates in all races, including city comptroller candidates Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and former Governor Eliot Spitzer. NY1's Zack Fink filed the following report.
Walking the West Indian American Day Parade route is nothing new for either one of the city comptroller candidates.
Eliot Spitzer has run for office many times before, and so has Scott Stringer.
The office of comptroller, however, would be new for either candidate, and at issue lately has been Spitzer's self-funded campaign.
For example, according to campaign records, Spitzer paid $13,000 to Carl Andrews' consulting firm.
Andrews, a former Brooklyn state senator, who spent part of the day with Spitzer at the parade, was at the center of a bid-rigging scandal involving Aqueduct's Casino.
"You have to ask Eliot about the two standards. He seems to be able to do things that the rest of us won't do, so I think you have to ask him," Stringer said.
Spitzer acknowledged the expenditures.
"We have built a campaign organization over the last eight weeks that has been ahead in every poll and they're griping, complaining, throwing dirt, and that's the sort of campaign he wants to run, the sort of campaign he's run from the very beginning," Spitzer said.
Spitzer then took a swipe at Stringer for only attending a handful of meetings for the New York City pension boards, known as NYCERS, where the borough president is a trustee.
"You know, they call us all sorts of things, all sorts of things. Maybe if he'd gone to a few meetings of NYCERS, he'd understand more about money," Spitzer said.
Stringer played down reports that an independent expenditure group set up to raise Wall Street money on his behalf has so far raised very little.
"Well, I think I made it clear to anybody from Wall Street that they should stand down. I don't need that money. We're going to win anyway. We have momentum behind us. We have a real grassroots campaign," Stringer said.
Another variable in all of this is Governor Andrew Cuomo, who insiders say has been quietly advocating on behalf of Stringer against his former rival Spitzer.
Cuomo, however has said nothing publicly in favor of Stringer, and he has has been staying far away from city politics.
This is the first time he has skipped the parade, since being elected governor.