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David Paterson ‘Stunned’ By Eliot Spitzer’s Run For New York City Comptroller

Former Governor Jokes About Run For President Of Egypt
Former New York Governor David Paterson (file / credit: Steve Mack/Getty Images)

Former New York Governor David Paterson (file / credit: Steve Mack/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Former New York Gov. David Paterson said he was in “stunned disbelief” when he learned that his old boss, Former Gov. Eliot Spitzer, had entered the race for New York City comptroller.

Paterson spoke with WCBS 880’s Michael Wallace for the Opening Bell Report and the initial topic was urging high school and college students to pursue careers in accounting.

But politics, naturally, came up.

“It took me very much by surprise because I spend a lot of time with the governor. We’re probably the only governor and lieutenant governor who really got along and still get along,” Paterson said, adding that he had a feeling Spitzer wanted to go back to public service. “But he had told me he wasn’t really interested. So, when the news broke Sunday night, I was in stunned disbelief.”

Paterson was, in part, surprised because he’d already given his endorsement to Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer.

Though he won’t pull his endorsement from Stringer, Paterson did say “either one of them would make a great comptroller.”

He said that the public wants officials who will protect them and that Spitzer is “not afraid to attack sacred cows. He’s not afraid to mix it up with entities that others have been intimidated by.”

Spitzer has until Thursday to get the signatures required to get on the ballot for the Democratic primary in the comptroller’s race.

Paterson said that while some express confidence in Spitzer’s ability to get the signatures, it’s actually very hard work.

With both Spitzer and Former Rep. Anthony Weiner back in the political ring, does Paterson have an itch to get back into politics?

“I think that if everybody’s getting in, I want to get in as well and so I’d like to break the news to you, Michael, that I’m going to run for president of Egypt,” Paterson joked. “It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it.”

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