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Everything you need to know about the comptroller candidates

Scott Stringer, left, and Eliot Spitzer.

Scott Stringer, left, and Eliot Spitzer. Credit: Scott Stringer, left, and Eliot Spitzer. (Pool/James Keivom/New York Daily News, 2013)

Eliot Spitzer (Democrat)

BACKGROUND
Spitzer, 54, is seeking the Democratic line in the primary. Spitzer grew up in Riverdale, the Bronx, and lives on the Upper East Side. He and his wife, Silda Wall Spitzer, have three daughters. He graduated from Princeton University and earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School. He worked at Manhattan law firms and as a prosecutor in the Manhattan district attorney’s office under Robert Morgenthau. He ran unsuccessfully for attorney general in 1994, but was elected to the seat in 1998. Spitzer was elected governor in 2006, but was forced to resign in 2008 after it was revealed he was patronizing prostitutes. He was a columnist for Slate, taught at City College as an adjunct professor and worked as a CNN co-host and Current TV host.

ISSUES
He has said that as comptroller he would stand up to Wall Street abuses and special interests as he did as attorney general. He said he would use his capital management expertise to manage the city’s pension funds, with assets totaling $140 billion, and increase returns. He also hopes to consolidate the five pension funds into one and reduce the number of pension fund trustees. He vowed scrutiny of the city budget, which he said will take a hit as municipal union contracts are negotiated.

Scott Stringer (Democrat)

BACKGROUND
Stringer, 53, was born and raised in Washington Heights and lives on the Upper West Side with his wife, Elyse Buxbaum, and their two young sons. He graduated from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. He served in Jerrold Nadler’s state Assembly office and was elected to Nadler’s seat in 1992, serving in the Assembly until 2005. He ran unsuccessfully for public advocate in 2001 and was elected Manhattan borough president in 2005.

ISSUES
Stringer said he wants to act as a “steward” of the city’s pension funds, which total $140 billion in assets, and put risk-management protocols in place to improve returns. He seeks to work with pension fund trustees and other offices through coalition building. He wants to consolidate the city’s five pension funds into one. He has said he will use the comptroller office’s Bureau of Law and Adjustment to determine where the bulk of claims against the city originate and reduce the number of stop-and-frisk claims against the NYPD.

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