New Yorkers prefer Spitzer not run for mayor: poll

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Almost two-thirds of New Yorkers do not want disgraced former New York state governor Eliot Spitzer to run for mayor of their city in 2013, a new poll found on Friday.

Spitzer, a Democrat, was forced to resign as governor in 2008 for hiring high-priced prostitutes. Last year he was hired as a host on CNN and since then there has been speculation he was preparing for a return to politics.

“If he has any designs to get back into elected office, New Yorkers are not putting out a welcome mat,” said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, which conducted the NY1-Marist Poll.

Miringoff said Spitzer’s new media career had not helped his chances of reviving his political career.

“He went from a widely acclaimed governor to disgraced instantly and that remains in the minds of a large number of voters — they haven’t turned the page,” he said.

Spitzer declined to comment about the poll results or his political future on Friday, but when asked last month on his CNN show “In The Arena” if he planned to run for mayor of New York City he did not give a straight answer.

“I love doing what I’m doing here at CNN and that’s what I plan to do as long as I can,” Spitzer said.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, 69, cannot stand for fourth term. He ran as an independent for a third term in 2009 after pushing the City Council to overturn a voter-approved term limits law. He is worth $18 billion, Forbes estimates, and spent more than $260 million on his three campaigns.

The poll found voters undecided over who should be the Democratic candidate for the 2013 mayoral election with 18 percent supporting Congressman Anthony Weiner and 15 percent backing former New York City Comptroller Bill Thompson, who ran against Bloomberg in 2009.

The telephone survey of 772 New Yorkers was conducted between March 22-24 and there is margin of error plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Greg McCune)

New Yorkers prefer Spitzer not run for mayor: poll