Spitzer Petitions Challenged Because He ‘Doesn’t Deserve a Free Pass’

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Photo: Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis

On Friday Scott Stringer said he wouldn't challenge city comptroller rival Eliot Spitzer's petitions to get on the ballot because “I'm not afraid of this fight.” (Plus, the former governor had about 23,000 more signatures than he needed.) However, Republican strategist E. O'Brien Murray filed a challenge just before the deadline on Monday night, simply because “Eliot Spitzer doesn’t deserve a free pass after what he put New York through.” Murray told the Daily News, “Everyone has an opportunity for redemption. I understand that. [But you can't] buy an election and possibly commit fraud collecting your petitions.”

Murray claims that Spitzer's petitions were filled with errors, and he has a week to come up with some specific objections. Spitzer's attorney, Martin Connor, reminded the Post that anyone can file a challenge “without showing a scintilla of substance.” “The Spitzer campaign took great care in the petitioning process and filed far more than the number of valid signatures required by law,” said Connor. “There are no worries in the frontrunners' camp about making the ballot. That was last week's concern.”

He also had an update on this week's concern:  Spitzer failing to file an ethics report by last Thursday's deadline. Candidates can be fined for lateness, but have a one-week grace period. Connor said Spitzer will file soon, and is late for “obvious reasons” (meaning his late entry into the race, not his questionable ethics).