With polls saying the race for city comptroller is essentially a dead heat, former Governor Eliot Spitzer and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer campaigned hard around the city Sunday, with both starting their mornings in Brooklyn churches. NY1's Zack Fink filed the following report.
Eliot Spitzer received a warm welcome Sunday from the congregation and pastor at the aptly named "Church of the Open Door" in Brooklyn.
Spitzer spoke briefly to the crowd, explaining that he knows all too well what it's like to lose everything.
"I got elected governor in '06, and the world looked great from way up here," he said. "Then, as you all know, my life ended up down here for a while. It wasn't easy. And when you're down there, you think hard about why you're doing something."
Scott Stringer also spoke in church, at Brown Memorial Baptist in Fort Greene. Here, Stringer bumped into Democratic mayoral candidate John Liu, but was introduced by Rep. Hakeem Jeffries.
"All across the board, whether it's myself or Ruben Diaz or Adriano Espaillat or Karim Camara or Eric Adams, all of us who served in the legislature when Eliot Spitzer was governor, we've concluded that Scott Stringer is best for the black community, for the Latino community and all New Yorkers," Jeffries said.
A new Marist poll shows Spitzer back ahead, but only by two points and well within the margin of error, which is 4.2 percent. Spitzer still has a sizable lead among African-American voters.
NY1 asked Stringer about Spitzer's money advantage in the race.
"My opponent's a self-funder. He's going to write a check for $10 million. That's a lot of money to buy a race for comptroller," Stringer said. "But the people have a different idea."
"It's not so clear to me," Spitzer said. "He has had millions of dollars coming in from all sorts of independent expenditures, from newspapers that have been running his message. I'm a voice, and I've always said very clearly, I want the public to have a choice."
According to the latest filing with the city's campaign finance board, Spitzer has spent more than $6.6 million, while Stringer has spent significantly less, roughly $3.9 million.
There is one more Quinnipiac poll due out Monday in this race. The last Q poll had Stringer ahead by two percentage points but within the margin of error. The one before that had the two candidates dead even at 47 percent each.