In what has been described as the “first scandal of the de Blasio administration,” Lis Smith, a former Obama campaign aide and current spokeswoman for New York City mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s transition, is reportedly dating disgraced and still-married former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer.
According to a report in the New York Daily News, Smith, who had worked for Spitzer’s failed campaign for comptroller, has been in a relationship with the “hooker-scandal-disgraced ex-governor who’s been living apart from his wife.”
Spitzer is 56 and Smith is 31.
“I have tremendous respect for Lis as a professional, and I also respect her right to privacy,” Bill de Blasio said Monday during a news conference in Brooklyn. In the same conference he announced two new appointments to his administration.
Smith, who has supported several campaigns including John Edwards’s presidential run, is reportedly the frontrunner to be de Blasio’s permanent spokeswoman once he is officially sworn in. She has been described as a “tenacious and fearless flack” who excels in rapid response, which she oversaw for President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.
“Lis Smith is a friend of Eliot’s, and he holds her in high regard,” a “longtime Spitzer spokeswoman” said.
Last week, the New York Post caught Spitzer entering and leaving Smith’s apartment building and interviewed a manager at a French restaurant on the ground floor of Smith’s building. The manager of the restaurant said Spitzer and Smith have “had almost everything on the menu by now. They come here that often.”
“The first time I saw Spitzer, I didn’t know if he was Eliot Spitzer or Anthony Weiner,” the manager told the Post. “Those two are like the same exact guy.”
Spitzer, who resigned in disgrace from his governorship when he was revealed to be a John known as “Client 9” who solicited high-end prostitutes reportedly across state lines, is still married to his wife, Silda Wall. The two are now living separately.