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Stringer beats back Spitzer for comptroller

Eliot Spitzer, the former governor and a candidate for city comptroller, waves at a motorist in Jackson Heights during a campaign stop earlier this year. AP Photo/Mark Lennihan
TimesLedger Newspapers

Former Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s attempt to rejoin the political world was narrowly rejected by voters as he was defeated in the Democratic primary for the office of city comptroller by Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer.

Stringer won the race Tuesday night with 52 percent of the vote, and Spitzer pulled in 48 percent, according to Associated Press election results with 97 percent of the precincts reporting.

Spitzer, the former 54th governor of New York state, resigned from the post in March 2008 after an investigation revealed he had patronized a high-end prostitution ring over the course of his career.

Spitzer had led the polls throughout the campaign until recently. In the last few weeks approaching the primary, Stringer caught up and eventually overtook his opponent.

“I really don’t care what he does in bed. It’s not about morality. It’s about how he ran his campaign,” said Cheryl Allison, a native of Germany and Astoria resident who cast her vote for Stringer.

In the race for public advocate, two Democratic candidates are headed to a run-off Oct. 1. City Councilwoman Letitia James received 36 percent of the vote and state Sen. Daniel Squadron collected 33 percent with 97 percent of the votes counted.

The three other candidates, Reshma Saujani (15 percent), Catherine Guerriero (12.9 percent) and Sidique Wai (2.8 percent), did not receive enough votes to advance to the run-off. The role of the public advocate in New York City is to act as a watchdog for citizens and ensure they receive city services.

Reach reporter Bianca Fortis by email at bfortis@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4546.

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