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

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.