Spitzer to run against madam

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K Davis (Credit: @manhattanmadam's profile photo)

K Davis (Credit: @manhattanmadam's profile photo)

NEW YORK – Gracie Mansion isn’t the only contested hotspot for political redemption in New York City this year.The day after former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer announced his campaign for city comptroller, he was issued a direct challenge for the post by a woman who says she was the madam who supplied him with escorts.Self-described “ex-madam” Kristin Davis used Spitzer’s campaign to once again announce her already-declared candidacy for comptroller on Monday.

“Eliot Spitzer broke state and federal laws in his use of prostitutes and paid no penalty; I broke the law and paid my debt to society,” Davis, who served four months in prison, said in a statement. “There cannot be two standards of justice, one for the average citizen and another for the political and social elite.”

Spitzer, a Democrat, resigned as governor in 2008 amidst a scandal surrounding his use of prostitutes.

Davis, a former hedge fund senior vice president, first filed with the city campaign finance board in September of 2012 to run for city-wide office. The exact post she was seeking was not specified at the time. She filed to run specifically for comptroller in June, according to the board. Her campaign now needs at least 3,750 signatures to qualify for the ballot.

This is not Davis’ first go at public office, nor her first time using the title of “Elliot Spitzer’s madam” in her campaign. She ran as a protest candidate for New York governor in 2010.

Now running as a Libertarian with a plan to legalize marijuana in New York City, Davis first announced her campaign in April. She did so in a release challenging the other major candidate for city comptroller, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer.

“I have more financial management experience than either Eliot Spitzer or Scott Stringer,” Davis said in her statement Monday. “They are both career politicians looking to use the office of Comptroller as a stepping stone to higher office.”

Stringer had originally been considered a candidate for mayor until he instead announced a candidacy for comptroller. He left a crowded field of mayoral contenders that has become increasingly complicated, particularly by the official candidacy of former Congressman Anthony Weiner.

Weiner quickly found himself at the head of the race for the Democratic primary, polls show. This despite having resigned from office in 2011 after he was caught sending lewd photos of himself on Twitter.

Spitzer and Weiner make two current New York City candidates whose sexual improprieties led to falls from power. And they are not alone.

This has become the season of political resurrection, a season best exemplified by Republican Rep. Mark Sanford’s successful campaign for the U.S House of Representatives. He was sworn in to Congress in May despite having resigned as South Carolina governor in 2009 after being caught with an Argentinean mistress, a woman who is now his fiancé.

In 2010 and 2011, Spitzer co-hosted a political talk show on CNN.

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