New York City comptroller election, 2013

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New York City comptroller election, 2013
New York City
2009 ←
November 5, 2013
→ 2017

  NLN Scott Stringer.jpg
Candidate Scott Stringer John Burnett
Party Democratic Republican
Alliance Working Families Conservative
Popular vote 827,572 171,635
Percentage 80.4% 16.6%

Comptroller before election

John Liu
Democratic

Elected Comptroller

Scott Stringer
Democratic

The 2013 election for New York City Comptroller was held on November 5, 2013, along with elections for Mayor, Public Advocate, Borough Presidents, and members of the New York City Council.

The first-term incumbent Comptroller, John Liu, did not run for re-election, as he decided to run in the 2013 election for Mayor of New York City.[1] The Democratic Party nomination was won by Scott Stringer, who defeated Eliot Spitzer in the Democratic Primary. John Burnett is the Republican nominee.

Democratic primary[edit]

New York City borough President Scott Stringer was considered to be the front runner for the Democratic nomination, having raised nearly $3.5 million as of July 7, 2013. When former New York governor Eliot Spitzer announced his intention to run for the office, he brought a larger challenge to Stringer. In 2008, while governor, Spitzer resigned amid a prostitution scandal. His name recognition as a former governor was expected to help him in the election, while the scandal was also expected to harm his chances. "I'm hopeful there will be forgiveness, I am asking for it," Spitzer said, commenting on the scandal.[2] "Politics is a contact sport," Spitzer said on July 8, on radio's The Bill Press Show. "I made significant errors. I stood up, accepted responsibility, resigned. It's now been five years, I hope the public will extend its forgiveness to me."[3]

Coincidentally, Spitzer was running against Kristin M. Davis (who is running as a Libertarian), his former madam who had helped him get call girls as governor. She spent 3 months in prison for running an escort service. "This is going to be the funnest campaign ever," she told The New York Daily News. "I’ve been waiting for my day to face [Spitzer] for five years," Davis said. "I sat ... in Rikers Island, I came out penniless and nothing happened to him. The hypocrisy there is huge."[4][5]

Stringer's campaign immediately responded to Spitzer's candidacy. On July 8, his campaign manager released a statement saying, "Scott Stringer has a proven record of results and integrity and entered this race to help New York's middle class regain its footing. By contrast, Eliot Spitzer is going to spurn the campaign finance program to try and buy personal redemption with his family fortune. The voters will decide." The statement alluded to Spitzer's family fortune.[6] Prior to Spitzer's announcement, Stringer had already received several endorsements from candidates in the mayoral election, most of whom did not withdraw their endorsements after Spitzer's announcement. One of the first to publicly state her support of Stringer was Christine Quinn, who is the Speaker of the New York City Council. She stated, "Scott Stringer has been an exceptional borough president with the highest ethical standards. He has my full support and I will do whatever I can to help him become the next comptroller of the City of New York."[7]

Spitzer appeared on CNBC's Morning Joe on July 9, and was visibly emotional when asked about what he had learned the past five years.[8]

Stringer's fundraising soared dramatically after Spitzer's announcement. During the week of July 8, Stringer raised over $100,000. In all, Stringer has spent just over $679,000 and has $3 million on hand. Spitzer declared that he can use his family fortune to finance his campaign. Although he hired staffers to collect petitions, Spitzer's campaign did not list any major spending during the most recent filing period.[9]

On July 11, a deadline passed for candidates to file an ethics report. Several of the candidates, most notably Spitzer, did not file the report in time. Not filing a report can lead to a fine of between $250 and $10,000. However, there is a 1 week grace period before any penalties are enforced. A lawyer representing Spitzer's campaign said the candidate was "very busy" last week working on filing petitions with the signatures he needed to secure a spot on the Democratic ballot. A spokesperson for Stringer's campaign stated, "The old Eliot Spitzer supported stringent ethics disclosure. Just as we've seen on his decision to abandon campaign spending limits he once supported, it's increasingly clear that Eliot Spitzer believes there are two standards in public life—one for him, and one for everyone else."[10] Even with that news, Spitzer was still leading in polls conducted.[11]

In an ad that began airing during the week of July 22, 2013, Spitzer admitted that he "failed-big time." He went on to say, "I hurt a lot of people. When you dig yourself a hole, you can either lie in it the rest of your life, or do something positive. That's why I'm running... Everyone, no matter who you are, deserves a fair shot. I'm asking voters to give the same for me."[12]

News coverage about the election (and, more specifically, Spitzer's attempt at redemption) have been mixed. On July 18 CNN host Jake Tapper talked about Spitzer's "incredibly reckless and ... very illegal" prostitution scandal. In an interview on The Colbert Report, comedian Stephen Colbert noted Spitzer's lead in the polls by asking, "Do you [Spitzer] think that signals progress for our country or the slow decay of our moral values?" After Spitzer began laughing, Colbert declared, "This isn't Charlie Rose motherf**ker!" Speaking about Spitzer's own qualifications Colbert asked if Spitzer was "at once and the same time above and below this job?" He later asked, "Shouldn't the job of comptroller go to someone who has shown a modicum of self-comptrol? Why should the people trust you?" "The totality of a record," Spitzer suggested, such as his time as Attorney General, make him a suitable candidate. In 2010, after the initial scandal, Colbert told him he could be honest with him because Spitzer had "no public image to uphold."[13][14] However, Politico blogger Gary Bauer suggested that, unlike Anthony Weiner (who was running for mayor), Spitzer seemed to be redeeming himself.[15] Similarly, the Los Angeles Times noted that, while Spitzer's past had hurt him, voters were beginning to forgive him, noting that, unlike Weiner, Spitzer stopped his behavior immediately after leaving office.[16]

Candidates[edit]

Declared[edit]

Withdrew[edit]

Declined[edit]

Polling[edit]

Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin of
error
Eliot
Spitzer
Scott
Stringer
Other Undecided
PPP September 7–8, 2013 683 ± 3.8% 45% 41% 14%
Quinnipiac September 6–8, 2013 782 ± 3.5% 43% 50% 1% 7%
Marist September 3–6, 2013 556 ± 4.2% 47% 45% <1% 7%
Quinnipiac August 28–September 1, 2013 750 ± 3.6% 45% 47% 7%
Siena August 19–28, 2013 505 ± 4% 50% 35% 15%
amNewYork/News 12 August 22–27, 2013 600 ± 4% 46% 43% 10%
Quinnipiac August 22–27, 2013 602 ± 4% 46% 46% 8%
Marist August 12–14, 2013 355 ± 5.2% 53% 34% 1% 11%
Quinnipiac August 7–12, 2013 579 ± 4.1% 56% 37% 7%
Siena August 2–7, 2013 505 ± 4% 44% 35% 2% 19%
Marist July 24, 2013 551 ± 4.2% 49% 32% 2% 17%
Quinnipiac July 18–23, 2013 507 ± 4.4% 49% 45% 6%
Quinnipiac July 8–14, 2013 738 ± 3.6% 48% 33% 1% 19%
Marist July 8–9, 2013 546 ± 4.2% 42% 33% 1% 24%

Results[edit]

2013 New York City Comptroller Election Democratic Primary Results[23]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Scott Stringer 314,285 52.1%
Democratic Eliot Spitzer 288,739 47.9%

Republican primary[edit]

John Burnett, a Wall Street financier is running unopposed for the nomination of the Republican Party. In mid-July 2013, he announced he would release his personal tax returns.[24] New York Republican consultant William F. B. O'Reilly noted that Burnett may have a reasonably strong chance of success in the election, if Spitzer gets the nomination, if he is able to exploit Spitzer's scandal.[25][26]

Candidates[edit]

Nominee[edit]

  • John Burnett, financier[27]

Major third parties[edit]

Besides the Democratic and Republican parties, the Conservative, Green, Independence and Working Families parties are qualified New York parties. These parties have automatic ballot access.

Conservative[edit]

Nominee[edit]

  • John Burnett, financier[24]

Green[edit]

Nominee[edit]

Working Families[edit]

Nominee[edit]

Minor third parties[edit]

Any candidate not among the six qualified New York parties (Democratic, Republican, Conservative, Green, Independence and Working Families) must petition their way onto the ballot; they do not face primary elections.

Libertarian[edit]

Nominee[edit]

  • Hesham El-Meligy, activist[30]

Withdrew[edit]

Socialist Worker[edit]

Nominee[edit]

  • John W. Studer

School Choice[edit]

Nominee[edit]

  • John L. Burnett

War Veterans Party[edit]

Nominee[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Resnick, Gideon (July 8, 2013). "John Liu Says Eliot Spitzer and Anthony Weiner Are a ‘Huge Affront to Women’". Politicker. 
  2. ^ "Ex-Gov. Spitzer plans run for NYC comptroller". USA Today. July 7, 2013. 
  3. ^ Reiss, Adam, Payne, Ed (July 8, 2013). "Spitzer seeks return to politics -- as NYC comptroller". CNN. 
  4. ^ "Kristin Davis, Ex-Madam, Running For NYC Comptroller Against Eliot Spitzer". Huffington Post. July 8, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b Dover, Sara (July 7, 2013). "Disgraced ex-Gov. Eliot Spitzer re-enters politics in NYC comptroller bid". CBS News. 
  6. ^ Campbell, Colin (July 8, 2013). "Scott Stringer Comes Out Swinging Against Eliot Spitzer". Politicker. 
  7. ^ Katz, Celeste (July 7, 2013). "NY Mayor Hopefuls Rally To Scott Stringer's Side As Eliot Spitzer Jumps into Comptroller Race". New York Daily News. 
  8. ^ Edelman, Adam. "Choked up Eliot Spitzer says he failed electorate, family but deserves forgiveness: ‘You go through that pain and you change’". NY Daily News. Retrieved 10 July 2013. 
  9. ^ Sale, Anna (July 15, 2013). "After Spitzer, Stringer's Fundraising Soars". WNYC. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  10. ^ Saul, Michael Howard (July 15, 2013). "Spitzer, Other Candidates Miss Deadline for Filing Ethics Report". The Wall Street Journal. 
  11. ^ Peltz, Jennifer (July 15, 2013). "Spitzer, Weiner Top Names in New Poll of NYC Races". New York 4. 
  12. ^ Boerma, Linda (July 22, 2013). "Eliot Spitzer's new ad for comptroller: "I failed, big time"". CBS News. Retrieved July 22, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Stephen Colbert Grills Eliot Spitzer, Declares 'This Ain't Charlie Rose, Motherf**ker' (VIDEO)". The Huffington Post. July 18, 2013. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  14. ^ Bigler, Tyler (July 19, 2013). "Stephen Colbert relentlessly grills Eliot Spitzer [VIDEO]". Daily Caller. 
  15. ^ Bauer, Gary (August 15, 2013). "Why Anthony Weiner sinks while Eliot Spitzer soars". Politico. Retrieved 19 August 2013. 
  16. ^ Tangel, Andrew (August 15, 2013). "Eliot Spitzer seeks political revival after prostitution scandal". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 19 August 2013. 
  17. ^ Barbaro, Michael, Chen, David W. (July 7, 2013). "Spitzer Rejoins Politics, Asking for Forgiveness". New York Times. 
  18. ^ Enquist, Erik (April 28, 2013). "For Scott Stringer, winning's the easy part". Crain's New York Business. 
  19. ^ Campbell, Colin (July 10, 2013). "Dan Garodnick Exits Stage Right". Politicker. 
  20. ^ Katz, Celeste (4 December 2012). "Brooklyn City Councilman Domenic Recchia: I'm Not Running For Comptroller". NY Daily News. 
  21. ^ Seifman, David (29 January 2013). "Weiner’s test run". New York Post. 
  22. ^ Seifman, David (24 February 2013). "Lucky first Stringer". New York Post. 
  23. ^ "Live Results: New York City Primary Elections". The Huffington Post. September 10, 2013. 
  24. ^ a b "Ex-N.Y. Gov. Spitzer releases tax returns". USA Today. July 17, 2013. 
  25. ^ O'Reilly, William F. B. (July 13, 2013). "O'Reilly: Can a Republican become NYC comptroller?". News Day. Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  26. ^ George, Robert A. (July 10, 2013). "The real comptroller surprise". New York Post. Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  27. ^ Katz, Celeste (June 13, 2013). "Republican Wall Street Vet John Burnett Ready To Jump into Race For NYC Comptroller". New York Daily News. 
  28. ^ "Spitzer: Petition Signatures Collection For NYC Comptroller Campaign 'Going Well'". The Huffington Post. 11 July 2013. 
  29. ^ Enquist, Erik (10 December 2012). "Working Families Party Backing Scott Stringer For NYC Comptroller". NY Daily News. 
  30. ^ Staten Island Advance/Jan Somma-Hammel. "Staten Island interfaith activist Hesham El-Meligy is Libertarian Party candidate for NYC comptroller". SILive.com. Retrieved 2013-08-12. 
  31. ^ Nelson, Steven (August 26, 2013). "Spitzer's Ex-Madam Kristin Davis Slips Out of Comptroller Race". US News. 

External links[edit]