UPPER WEST SIDE — Scott Stringer insists nothing has changed for him or his campaign since former Gov. Eliot Spitzer blindsided the political world by announcing he, too, was joining the race for comptroller.
The Manhattan borough president had the Democratic field to himself until Spitzer, who resigned from office in 2008 after being caught in a prostitution ring, announced his bid Sunday night.
"Bring it on," said Stringer, who was joined by his wife, Elyse, in front of a Fairway market on Monday. "We're ready for this."
He said he wasn't surprised that someone else joined the race for comptroller.
"The only thing that changes is that more of you follow me around now," Stringer said, addressing the press gaggle around him.
"I always thought [mayoral candidate Anthony] Weiner or Spitzer could consider this race," Stringer said.
Stringer repeatedly used the word "integrity" when describing the race, but refused to weigh in on Spitzer's past, including his resignation over a prostitution scandal.
"This is not a race about Eliot or me. This is a race about how we're going to fight about our city," he said.
The borough president also appeared to take a shot at Spitzer's time in Albany, which Spitzer has asked voter's to judge him by. Noting legislation he helped pass to force state legislators to be physically present to vote, Stringer noted, "I actually did something and reformed Albany."
While his record in Albany will surely be the subject of debate should he get enough signatures to get on the ballot by next Thursday, Spitzer does bring some significant name recognition to the race, not to mention a personal wealth that he'll be spending on the race.
"There are so many candidates that started out with better name recognition that we don't have anymore. It's not the name recognition you have. It's the record and vision you have for this office," Stringer said, noting that he has "enough money to run this race."