Former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D) could encounter at least one familiar face if he campaigns for New York City’s comptroller’s office — the woman who set him up with escorts, precipitating his resignation from office in 2008.
Spitzer, who announced his candidacy Sunday night, told WCBS-TV Monday morning that while he is asking the public for forgiveness being caught arranging a liaison with a sex worker, he also wants them to remember his accomplishments as the state’s attorney general and governor.
“Standing up for the public in the face of the Wall Street cataclysm years before it happened,” he told the station. “Standing up for low-wage workers, protecting our community gardens, the environment, and on and on. Obviously I had to resign from the Governor’s mansion. I wanted the job and I wanted desperately to do a great deal in that job for the state in terms of education and health care.”
To qualify for the ballot, Spitzer would need to gather 3,700 signatures by midnight Thursday. He told the station he would use his own money to finance his campaign.
The New York Post reported Monday morning that Kristin Davis, who became known as the “Manhattan Madam” after being revealed as the employer of the escorts who Spitzer frequented, was already boasting about the chance to face Spitzer.
“I don’t even know if she’s an opponent or not,” Spitzer told WCBS. “I only run based on a record that I present to the public. That’s how I ran for attorney general, that’s how I ran for governor.”
Davis served four months in prison for her role in Spitzer’s activities, while federal authorities declined to prosecute him, saying he did not use public funds as a client of hers.
If Spitzer qualifies for the ballot, he would also face a fellow Democrat, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer. Stringer’s campaign released a statement Sunday night saying he “has a proven record of results and integrity and entered this race to (help) New York’s middle class regain its footing. By contrast, Eliot Spitzer is going to spurn the campaign finance program to try and buy personal redemption with his family fortune. The voters will decide.”
Watch Spitzer’s interview with WCBS, aired Monday morning, below.