Disgraced former New York governor Eliot Spitzer launches bid for NYC comptroller

Former New York governor Eliot Spitzer, who resigned amid a prostitution scandal five years ago, launched his campaign for New York City comptroller on Monday.

The one-time "Sheriff of Wall Street" said he wanted to reinvent the position by taking a more activist role, similar to the financial watchdog post he carved out in two terms as state attorney general.

He resigned as governor in 2008 after it was discovered that he was using a high-end call-girl service.

Spitzer said he missed the policy fights and wanted a chance to help shape the city's budget, USA Today reported.

The 54-year-old Democrat did a round of media interviews Monday morning, after telling The New York Times that he would ask voters for "forgiveness."

Spitzer told CBS' This Morning program:

"I sinned, I owned up to it, I looked them in the eye, I resigned, I held myself accountable. It's now five years later. I hope they [voters] look back at what I did as attorney general, as governor, as a prosecutor and say, 'Hey, this guy was ahead of the curve on Wall Street issues.'"

Several media pointed out that he is following in the footsteps of Anthony Weiner, who has vaulted back from an embarrassing "sexting" scandal to become a top mayoral contender.

Spitzer says he has the right "skill set" for the job.

He must now collect 3,750 signatures from voters to get on the ballot for comptroller by Thursday.

He would then face Scott Stringer, the Manhattan borough president and, according to the Wall Street Journal, "a previously unopposed, well-funded candidate with establishment backing."

Also in the race, Metro points out rather wryly, is a woman to whom Spitzer will always be "Client 9."

"Manhattan Madam" Kristin Davis, who said she supplied Spitzer with call girls, has reaffirmed her intention to run for city comptroller.

In a statement, Davis — served four months on Riker's Island after a string of busts linked to Spitzer's prostitution use — said:

"Eliot Spitzer broke state and federal laws in his use of prostitutes and paid no penalty. I broke the law and paid my debt to society."