Just in time for the 11 p.m. newscasts former Governor Eliot Spitzer triumphantly filed 27,000 signatures to get on the Democratic ballot for NYC Comptroller last night. The number was staggering, given that he parachuted into the running on Sunday night and the filing deadline was last night at midnight (citywide candidates need to submit 3,750 valid signatures), and Spitzer said it was "against the odds and all predictions--and in light of some who tried to thwart the effort."
His campaign had announced the Love Gov would be delivering his petitions to the Board of Elections at 10:30 p.m. In front of a mob of journalists, he said, "I want to thank those who assisted with this effort and the New Yorkers who signed these petitions. I pledge to stand with you against the special interests and on the crucial issues."
As for challenging the petitions (candidates typically over-collect to show the strength of their support and because not all signees may be registered Democrats), Spitzer said, "We have done this in the most meticulous way,” he told reporters, making the case that any attempt to challenge him would be undemocratic. “I would think that anybody who would challenge 27,000 signatures would be sending a statement they don’t really believe in democracy, they don’t believe in primaries, they don’t believe in the fundamental notion of competition to seek the votes of the citizens of the state.”
Spitzer was in his element. Politicker reports, "As he waited at the deli-style counter for his boxes to be processed, Mr. Spitzer appeared elated, mugging for the doting cameras with his signature pages." And the NY Times offered this:
Even after fielding queries from a mob of reporters on Thursday night, Mr. Spitzer, heading off into the humid Manhattan evening, did not seem at all tired of the attention.
After climbing into the back seat of a black sedan, Mr. Spitzer kept his window rolled down as photographers snapped photos.
The car started to pull away. Mr Spitzer, smiling, leaned out to address a reporter: “One last question?” he asked expectantly.
Spitzer will be going to Los Angeles to appear on The Tonight Show. Audrey Gelman, spokeswoman for his comptroller race rival Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, said, "Eliot Spitzer skipping town four days into his campaign? Scott Stringer will be right here, talking to voters. Sadly for Jay Leno, Eliot Spitzer’s resignation from office was no laughing matter."