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Eliot Spitzer is taking a shot at reviving his political career.
Five years after resigning as governor of New York on the heels of a scandal involving prostitution, the Democrat is planning to run for the office of city comptroller.
“I’m hopeful there will be forgiveness; I am asking for it,” he told the New York Times on Sunday.
Spitzer said he plans to pay for the campaign with his own money. To make September’s primary ballot, he reportedly needs to collect a minimum of 3,750 signatures from registered Democratic voters by Thursday.
Spitzer said about 100 people have been tapped to gather signatures starting Monday at locations including grocery stores.
“I am going to be on the street corners,” he said. “We will be out across the city.”
The New York Times was the first to report that Spitzer had patronized the Emperors Club, a high-end prostitution ring, five years ago. He was forced to resign in March 2008.
In fall 2010, Spitzer embarked on a TV career, co-hosting CNN’s Parker/Spitzer with Kathleen Parker. But the chemistry between the duo was lacking, and Parker exited in 2011. CNN launched a new Spitzer-hosted show, In the Arena, that lasted only five months.
In April 2012, he began hosting a show for Current TV, Viewpoint, that replaced Keith Olbermann‘s Countdown after the latter host’s sudden axing by the network. In January, a few days after news broke that Al Jazeera was acquiring Current, Spitzer said he would be leaving since his relationship had been with Current co-founders Al Gore and Joel Hyatt.
“Moving forward, their mission will be different,” he said, referring to a new focus on international newscasts versus liberal commentary about the news itself.
Three years ago, filmmaker Alex Gibney released a documentary, Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer, centering on the scandal.
Spitzer isn’t the first disgraced politician to re-enter politics of late. Former New York congressman Anthony Weiner announced his run for New York City mayor in May, two years after making headlines for posting a lewd photo of himself on Twitter.
Also in May, disgraced former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford beat out Elizabeth Colbert Busch — sister of Stephen Colbert — for his former seat in the House. Sanford became embroiled in his own scandal upon admitting to an extramarital affair in 2009 with Maria Belen Chapur, to whom he is now engaged.
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