NEW YORK CITY — Former Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who resigned from office in 2008 amid a prostitution scandal, is looking to run for city comptroller.
Spitzer, 54, is the second scandal-scarred New York politician to seek redemption by running for citywide office this year. Former Rep. Anthony Weiner, who resigned from office after sending lurid tweets, is running for mayor.
“I’m hopeful there will be forgiveness, I am asking for it,” Spitzer told The New York Times, which first reported his candidacy Sunday night.
In an interview with DNAinfo New York, Spitzer said he hoped voters wouldn't compare him to Weiner.
To get into the race, Spitzer will have to collect nearly 4,000 signatures from registered city Democrats before the Thursday deadline. According to the Times article, Spitzer intends to pay for his campaign out of his own personal wealth, and will not seek matching funds through the city's campaign finance system.
He will also have to face Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer in a Democratic primary.
Stringer's camp wasted little time in attacking Spitzer, taking to Twitter later Sunday night.
"Scott has a proven record of results & integrity + entered race to help NY’s middle class regain footing," Stringer campaign manager Sascha Owen tweeted. "By contrast, Spitzer will spurn campaign finance program to buy personal redemption with his family fortune. The voters will decide."
Stringer already has support from various unions as well as Scarlett Johansson, and within minutes of the Times story hitting the Web, city pols were rushing to his side.
"Scott Stringer has been an exceptional borough president with the highest ethical standards," City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, the first city pol to react to the news, said in a statement. "He has my full support and I will do whatever I can to help him become the next comptroller of the City of New York."
One of Quinn's opponents for mayor, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio quickly followed suit, saying that he was "proud to stand with him in his campaign for NYC Comptroller."
Spitzer, who made his name crusading against Wall Street as state attorney general, resigned the governorship in March 2008 after he was caught using high-end prostitutes in a federal probe. Since then, he has hosted TV shows on CNN and Current TV.