NEW YORK CITY (AFP) – Eliot Spitzer, who resigned five years ago as New York governor over a prostitution scandal, said Monday he has decided to re-enter politics.
He intends to run for the post of comptroller of New York City, he told the New York Times.
“I’m hopeful there will be forgiveness, I am asking for it,” he told the Times in an interview.
Spitzer, 54, was governor of New York from 2006 to 2007 when exposure of his liaisons with Washington call girls forced his resignation.
He had made a name for himself by aggressively prosecuting Wall Street fraud as the state’s attorney general.
Spitzer is the second prominent New York Democrat in recent weeks to attempt a comeback from a sex scandal.
Anthony Weiner, 48, a former congressman who was brought down after sending women lewd pictures of himself via Twitter, is running for mayor.
In announcing his candidacy at the end of May, Weiner said he was asking voters for a second chance.
Voters appear to be responding positively, with polls showing Weiner in the lead, having overtaken the longtime frontrunner, City Council president Christine Quinn.
Spitzer must gather 3,750 signatures by Thursday to register his candidacy.
“I sinned, I owned up to it, I looked them in the eye, I resigned, I held myself accountable,” Spitzer told the Times.
“It’s now five years later. I hope they [voters] look back at what I did as attorney general, as governor, as a prosecutor and say: ‘Hey, this guy was ahead of the curve on Wall Street issues.’ ”
He announced his resignation as New York governor on March 12, 2008 after admitting he had frequented high-priced prostitutes, paying up to $5,500 dollars an hour for sex. He was not prosecuted.
In recent years, he has worked as a commentator for a variety of media, including CNN, MSNBC, the Washington Post and Slate, and taught political science at City College in New York.