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Eliot Spitzer campaigns in Queens

Comptroller candidate and former New York State Governor

Comptroller candidate and former New York State Governor Eliot Spitzer campaigns at the entrance to the 82nd St-Jackson Heights No. 7 train station in Manhattan. (July 23, 2013) Credit: Charles Eckert

City comptroller contender Eliot Spitzer Tuesday morning stumped for 25 minutes among commuters in Jackson Heights, a rare effort on the streets in a campaign that has been dominated by television and radio appearances.

The former governor shook hands with No. 7 train riders, livery cab passengers and a bus driver.

"Hope you will vote for me Sept. 10," he told passersby, referring to primary day.

The retail campaign stop near the 82nd Street-Jackson Heights No. 7 train station was one of the Democrat's first since July 8, the day after he announced his candidacy.

Spitzer has otherwise made only a handful of surreptitious visits to local churches, while appearing on national shows such as "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno and Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report." Spitzer's gubernatorial career ended abruptly in 2008 after a prostitution scandal, which has brought national attention to his comeback try.

"He's wonderful. He's a fighter," said Joan Page, 48, of Canarsie, Brooklyn, a home care aide, after meeting Spitzer Tuesday. "When you been through what he's been through and you can stand up, that's great."

Asked which office he was running for, Page answered incorrectly: "Mayor."

Others, including some of the about 20 campaign workers and volunteers who joined Spitzer in Queens, knew what office he was seeking and voiced their support.

Also Tuesday, Spitzer publicly criticized his Democratic primary opponent, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, for the first time. Stringer is a former assemblyman.

"I think for somebody who was up in Albany as a member of an Assembly during many years that did not a whole lot, I will compare my record and tenure as governor and my record and tenure as attorney general to anybody's record out there," Spitzer said in an interview with NY1.

Meanwhile, Stringer Tuesday campaigned in East Harlem, rolling out a proposal to increase banking access for low-income New Yorkers and decrease dependency on high-fee check-cashing services.

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