Spitzer says he exceeded signature requirement for NYC ballot
July 12th, 2013
12:36 AM ET
10 years ago

Spitzer says he exceeded signature requirement for NYC ballot

(CNN) - Former Gov. Eliot Spitzer said he expects to be on a New York primary ballot in September after a last-minute signature collection blitz ended Thursday.

“Against the odds and all predictions - and in light of some who tried to thwart the effort - I am pleased to announce that we have collected more than 27,000 signatures in four days,” Spitzer said on his official Twitter account.

“I want to thank those who assisted with this effort and the New Yorkers who signed these petitions. I pledge to stand with you against the special interests and on the crucial issues.”

The signatures collected were well over the 3,750 need to be put on the ballot.

Candidates typically collect far more signatures than required because some end up being disqualified by election officials or challenged by opponents.

The Democrat spent the last few days scrambling to get the necessary signatures as he simultaneously fielded questions around his return to politics. Five years ago, he admitted he paid a prostitute thousands of dollars for sex and resigned his office.

Earlier on Thursday, he expressed his confidence in reaching the signature threshold but declined to say how many he had collected.

"We have put together a field operation. Everybody said, it is hard to gather 3,750 signatures over the course of a couple days on the streets of the city," Spitzer told CNN's Christine Romans. "I feel pretty confident and we're out there today. And we'll see where we are tonight."

Now that he has the signatures, his next step will be facing voters who likely still remember the former "Sheriff of Wall Street" fell from grace in 2008.

"I feel the public is going to give me a fair hearing," Spitzer said, with "a gut instinct" about how people will recall his record as state attorney general and as an advocate on financial matters. "I think the public will be supportive."

One poll seems to agree with Spitzer's assessment, quickly putting him at the top of the race for comptroller, ahead of the only other major Democrat running for the post, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer.

Another candidate for comptroller? The woman who claims to be the mistress who supplied Spitzer with prostitutes.

New York City has been dealing for months with talks of past sexual scandal in its city-wide races, with former Congressman Anthony Weiner running for the Democratic mayoral nomination despite his own resignation in 2011 after sending lewd photos of himself on Twitter. Weiner is also leading the polls.

Spitzer is seeking a different office: he is running for comptroller, the official responsible for overseeing city finances.

For Spitzer, the return to politics is about a desire to return to public service, he said, after years of work as a media commenter and host, including work for CNN.

"I resigned because I believed it was the appropriate way to say I appreciate what accountability is all about. Which had been something I'd spoken about," Spitzer said. "Five years later I'm ready to go to the public and say here's the entirety of the record, here's totality of the record. I think I can serve once more, and I'm ready to serve if you want to bring me back."

Spitzer said that his family, despite some reports otherwise, fully supports his return to politics. That support includes his wife.

Earlier this year in South Carolina, Mark Sanford won a seat in Congress after a 2009 affair with a woman who is now his fiancée overshadowed his governorship. He and Weiner have each made redemption and second chances a central part of their campaigns.

- CNN's Lawrence Crook and Gregory Wallace contributed to this report

Filed under: Eliot Spitzer
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. orange sunshyne

    I wouldn't be voting for either one of these hyppocrits.

    July 12, 2013 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  2. Kanageloa

    Does New York have that many homeless people going around and signing petitions?

    July 12, 2013 07:57 am at 7:57 am |