NEW YORK — Eliot Spitzer is re-entering politics to run for New York City comptroller, five years after resigning as New York governor in a prostitution scandal.
Spitzer, a Democrat, said he saw a more activist role for the comptroller, the city's chief financial officer, and told Reuters he hoped voters were ready to move on from his scandal. Spitzer said he decided to run during the July 4 holiday weekend.
“This is the dream: to be able to assume office on behalf of the public once again,” Spitzer said.
The city comptroller manages five pension funds, does budget analysis and audits city agencies. Spitzer, 54, said he hopes the financial community wants someone “who understands markets” in the comptroller's office, which he aims to revitalize in the way he did the attorney general's office a decade ago.
He became known in that office as the “sheriff of Wall Street” for his success in aggressively prosecuting financial crimes.
Spitzer became governor in 2007 but resigned the next year after being identified as a client in a prostitution ring. He became a television commentator after leaving public office.
Current comptroller John Liu is running for mayor.
The deadline to file a petition to be on the Sept. 10 primary ballot to succeed Liu is Thursday, by which time Spitzer must collect 3,750 signatures.
If he gets on the ballot, Spitzer is expected to face Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer in a Democratic primary.
Other candidates for comptroller include Republican John Burnett, a Wall Street executive, and former madam Kristin Davis.
Spitzer's announcement comes as another scandal-tarnished New York Democratic politician, former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, attempts his own political comeback. Weiner is a front-runner in the New York mayoral race, two years after admitting sending lewd photographs of himself to women.