Ex-Gov. Eliot Spitzer seeks return to politics -- as city comptroller

Ex-Gov. Eliot Spitzer seeks return to politics -- as city comptroller
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POSTED: Monday, July 8, 2013 - 8:00am

UPDATED: Monday, July 8, 2013 - 8:04am

Seeking redemption after a prostitution scandal ransacked his political career, former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer is looking to return to the political arena -- this time as the comptroller of New York City.

"I accepted responsibly for what I did," Spitzer told CNN late Sunday night. "I spent five years of working, doing useful things, and I hope the public will offer me an opportunity."

With his decision, Spitzer joins the ranks of other politicians gambling on the forgiveness -- and fleeting memories -- of voters to right-track their derailed careers.

Among them are former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, who won a U.S. House seat in May, and former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, who recently jumped into the race for New York mayor.

Spitzer, a Democrat, resigned in 2008 after revelations that he spent thousands of dollars on prostitutes.

Since stepping down, the Democrat has worked as a commentator for various news outlets, including CNN.

"I recognize the flaws that led to 2008," Spitzer said Sunday night.

A comptroller oversees how an organization reports its finances.

It'll be a far cry for the 54-year-old former state attorney general whose reputation as a scourge of white-collar crime propelled him to the governor's office in 2006.

"I have to win over not only Wall Street, but Main Street, and the record of my cases on Wall Street shows I understood the real problems."

In running for the position, Spitzer said he's looking for forgiveness and a second chance.

"The metaphor is what I did with the attorney general's office," he said. "It is ripe for greater and more exciting use of the office's jurisdiction."

Spitzer said he has his wife's support as he jumps back into political life, but doesn't know if she'll be joining him on the campaign trail.

Politics is full of second chances.

Just ask Sanford.

Sanford's political career was left for dead after he disclosed -- after disappearing from the public eye for nearly a week -- that he was having an affair with an Argentine woman.

During that admission in 2009, Sanford said he had not hiked the Appalachian Trail during his absence -- as his staff had said -- but had been in Buenos Aires.

Cut to 2013 when Sanford ran in a special election earlier this year to fill a vacant U.S. House seat in South Carolina.

Former Rep. Anthony Weiner of New York hopes for a similarly successful comeback.

Weiner was in his seventh term in Congress representing parts of Brooklyn and Queens when he was caught sending lewd photos and messages to multiple women.

At first he lied, claiming his Twitter account was hacked, but he later admitted to the indiscretions and left the House of Representatives.

In May, Weiner announced he'd be running for mayor of New York City.

Two surveys of New York City voters released in late June indicate Weiner is basically tied in the battle for the Democratic mayoral nomination.

In order to qualify for the primary ballot in September, Spitzer will have to collect at least 3,750 signatures from registered voters by Thursday.

He told the New York Times that about 100 signature gatherers will begin the task Monday morning.

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