NEW YORK — Former Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who stepped down in 2008 over a prostitution scandal, is planning a return to political life with a run for New York City comptroller.
In an interview with The New York Times on Sunday, Spitzer said he hoped city voters would give him a chance.
‘‘I’m hopeful there will be forgiveness, I am asking for it,’’ the Democrat said.
Spitzer said he was planning to start collecting the signatures he needs on Monday. Candidates for citywide offices like comptroller have to have 3,750 signatures from registered voters in their party by Thursday.
Spitzer told the Times the comptroller’s office, with its oversight of the city’s pension funds and spending, has the capability of real activism, a harkening back to the work he did as the state’s attorney general.
‘‘It is ripe for greater and more exciting use of the office’s jurisdiction,’’ he said.
Current Comptroller John Liu is expected to run for mayor.
Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer has been the most prominent among the contenders to become New York City’s next fiscal chief. He’s raised more than $3.5 million and spent about $566,000, city campaign finance records show, while his opponents have yet to report any fund-raising or spending.
They include Republican John Burnett, who has worked on Wall Street in various finance capacities and just recently declared his candidacy; Green Party candidate Juila Willebrand, a former teacher; and former madam Kristin Davis.
Spitzer says he would pay for a campaign out of his own pocket and not take part in the city’s financing system.
Spitzer is not the only politician who’s looking for a second chance.
Former Rep. Anthony Weiner is running for mayor. The former Democratic congressman left office two years ago amid a scandal over his tweets.