Eliot Spitzer’s ballot petitions challenged by Republican strategist

 Former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer collects signatures from citizens to run for comptroller of New York City on July 8, 2013 in New York City.  Credit: Getty Images
Former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer has a new hurdle to clear in his bid to become NYC’s city comptroller.
Credit: Getty Images

Following a four-day sprint to collect enough signatures to get on the ballot in the race for city comptroller, former Gov. Eliot Spitzer faces a new hurdle after a Republican strategist challenged his ballot petitions late Monday night.

Though Spitzer turned in more than 27,000 signatures from registered Democrats to get on ballot for the September primary, veteran political strategist E. O’Brien Murray told The New York Daily News he challenged the petitions because he doesn’t think the disgraced governor’s comeback should be so easy.

“I’ve been talking to many others across the city and they’re extremely put off by the idea that Eliot Spitzer thinks he can come back in after what he put the people of New York through,” Murray said.

Spitzer resigned as governor in 2008 after being connected to a prostitution ring. On July 7, he announced he was running for city comptroller but needed to turn in 3,750 signatures by July 10 to qualify — the campaign reportedly paid as much as $800 a day to petitioners to collect them. To much fanfare, Spitzer turned in 23,000 more than he needed.

Murray, who helped former Republican Rep. Bob Turner take former Congressman Anthony Weiner’s seat after Weiner’s resignation in 2011, said ”all New Yorkers should be offended” by Spitzer’s political comeback attempt.

“Everyone has an opportunity for redemption. I understand that. [But you can't] buy an election and possibly commit fraud collecting your petitions,” Murray said.

Spitzer’s main competition, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, told reporters last week he didn’t want the petitions challenged.

“I am saying to any Stringer supporter who wants to go to the Board of Elections to take a look at his petitions, don’t waste your time. You shouldn’t do it,” he said. “We must have this race. You cannot run for control of the city of New York without a robust primary challenge.”

Shortly after Stringer’s remarks, Spitzer’s campaign preemptively sent out a statement responding to the news the petition wouldn’t be challenged.

Tuesday morning, the campaign’s attorney said they were not worried about getting on the ballot.

“Anyone can file General Objections without showing a scintilla of substance for the challenge,” said Martin Connor in a statement. “The Spitzer campaign took great care in the petitioning process and filed far more than the number of valid signatures required by law. There are no worries in the frontrunners’ camp about making the ballot. That was last week’s concern.”

Still, Murray’s challenge is a hiccup in an otherwise successful week-old campaign. The objection was filed several hours after another poll put Spitzer in the lead — this time 15 points ahead of Stringer.

Murray told the Daily News that the forms he observed looked full of errors, adding he thought Spitzer was capable of intimidating voters to sign.

“That is Eliot Spitzer’s M.O.,” Murray said.

Follow Anna Sanders on Twitter: @AnnaESanders


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Memorial held for Sean Collier, MIT police officer…

More than 1,600 people gathered at MIT on Friday for a memorial service for Sean Collier, the police officer shot to death a year ago in the aftermath of the…

National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Sports

2014 Boston Marathon preview: Elite American, International runners…

2014 Boston Marathon: Elite American, International runners to watch

NBA

2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams…

2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams have the best shot at a championship. The Thunder, Clippers, Heat and Rockets lead the way.

NFL

2014 Patriots, full NFL schedule release date announced

2014 Patriots, full NFL schedule release date announced

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.