Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer ’81, who has spent the past five yearsrehabilitating his imageafter a prostitution scandal cost him his political career, has announced he will run for the Democratic Party's nomination for New York City Comptroller.
Spitzerresigned as governor in March 2008following the revelation that he had used a high-end prostitution service. Since leaving office, he has written columns for the online magazine Slate and hosted political talk shows on CNN and Current TV. He has also taught courses as an adjunct professor at the City College of New York.
The former governor haslamented in recent yearsthat he hasn’t been able to engage with public policy issues more directly due to his personal mistakes. Sunday’s announcement gives Spitzer an opportunity to begin that process of reengagement. He will challenge Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer in September’s Democratic primary. The comptroller serves as the city’s chief accountant and fiscal officer.
Spitzer is the second disgraced state politician to mount a comeback in New York City this summer. Former Congressman Anthony Weiner, who resigned from Congress in the summer of 2011 following revelations that he had sent explicit text messages, is a top contender in the race for the city’s mayorship.
Whenasked by The Daily Princetonianin May 2011 whether he would run for public office again, Spitzer’s answer suggested that he was considering it.
“I think the American public believes in comebacks, whether it's sports teams or individuals,” he said. “But comebacks come in all different shapes and sizes. That doesn’t always mean that you’re playing on the same field that you played on last time — sometimes you do, sometimes you don’t.”
Spitzer also denied at the time that he was remaking his image, saying he was simply creating an “interesting career.”
As an undergraduate at the University, Spitzer served as USG president, where he led an undergraduate campaign encouraging the University to divest from South Africa in response to the country’s policy of apartheid. He majored in the Wilson School.