Eliot Spitzer challenger and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer has scored his first major endorsement of the 2013 campaign for New York City’s comptroller. On Monday morning, citing his “temperament and judgment,” U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) endorsed Stringer, his campaign announced.
“I believe Scott Stringer is clearly the best choice to serve New Yorkers as the next comptroller of the City of New York,” Gillibrand said in a statement.
“Scott will fight hard for middle class families and has the temperament and judgment to be extraordinarily successful. His experience as a trustee of the New York City Employee Retirement System, where he has helped to grow the city’s pension funds and advance important shareholder initiatives around corporate governance, environmental stability and workplace safety positions him to be a great comptroller.”
Gillibrand’s endorsement could carry some weight in a race ripe with gender implications. Spitzer, of course, resigned as New York’s governor in 2008 amid a prostitution scandal. Gillibrand is a popular politician in New York — last October, 55% approved of how she was handling her job as senator, a number that has since dipped slightly.
Polls have shown Spitzer with a double-digit lead over Stringer since Spitzer announced his candidacy two weeks ago.
Spitzer said in 2010 that he would “never” have appointed Gillibrand to her post in 2009, when a seat was left vacant with President Barack Obama’s appointment of Hillary Clinton to Secretary of State. Stringer, too, was critical of Gillibrand’s early job performance, and he weighed a primary challenge to her in a 2010 special election.
“I am thrilled to have the support of Senator Kristen Gillibrand,” Stringer said in a statement. “Kristen has fought to bring jobs back to New York State, support transparency in government, and is leading the effort to combat sexual violence in the military. She has made New York proud with her leadership in the United States Senate, and I could not be more honored to accept her endorsement.”
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