Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer will run for city comptroller next year, he said Sunday.
Stringer had been among Democrats considered likely to run to replace Mayor Michael Bloomberg, whose third and final term ends next year. Now, the borough president is entering a race with some complicated political dynamics in its own right.
Incumbent Democratic Comptroller John Liu is a likely mayoral candidate, though he has been laboring under a political cloud since a federal investigation into his 2009 campaign fundraising led to two arrests. Liu hasn't been charged with any wrongdoing.
Stringer has been borough president for seven years and was a state assemblyman for 13. So far, he will face City Councilman Daniel Garodnick in the Democratic field for the comptroller's race; Democratic Councilman Domenic Recchia also is viewed as a likely contender.
Stringer said he has the experience to take on the city's financial challenges, which now face the added strain of superstorm Sandy recovery costs.
"To me, the comptroller is an incredibly consequential office, and it's never been more important," Stringer said by phone Sunday, as he also announced endorsements from former Mayor Ed Koch, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan) and others.
Even before the storm, the city was facing a more than $600 million budget hole this year and a $2.5 billion projected deficit next year. Although the complete storm expenses haven't been tallied, emergency contracts for shoring up beaches, picking up debris and other tasks have cost more than $120 million, and officials agreed this week to spend $500 million to jump-start repairs to public schools and hospitals.
There had been talk for months that Stringer, 52, might ultimately seek the comptroller seat instead of the mayoralty.