If her schedule last night is any indication, former city Comptroller Liz Holtzman is edging closer to entering the already-crowded Democratic AG primary.


Holtzman showed up at two different candidate forums in New York City, first attending an event hosted by the Campaign Finance Board and then jetting uptown to a closed-door meeting of the Manhattan Democratic Party.

“She said she’s still exploring, but by virtue of her showing up signals to me that she’s running,” said Assemblyman Keith Wright, who chairs the Manhattan Democratic organization.

“…Listen, I think she’s got a shot as much as anybody,” Wright continued. “Now is when the games begin and people start lobbying and politicking in advance of our vote.”

The Manhattan Dems will vote on their endorsements during the first or second week in May, Wright said.

The county party is a hot commodity among would-be candidate because it controls the largest share – just over 10 percent – of the weighted convention vote. That’s almost half of the 25 percent necessary to get onto the ballot.

All five of the already announced Democratic AG contenders also participated in Manhattan Dems event last night: Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, Sen. Eric Schneiderman (a Manhattan lawmaker), Eric Dinallo, Sean Coffey and Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice, who has the most to lose if Holtzman gets into the race, since she’ll no longer be the lone woman in the field.

Wright said Holtzman stressed her experience in elected office during her presentation to party members. (She served four terms in Congress, two terms as Brooklyn DA and one term as city comptroller. She was the first woman to hold her two city-level posts).

Holtzman’s name first surfaced as a potential AG contender in a telephone poll at the end of March that turned out to have been conducted by Doug Schoen. The poll showed Holtzman with a 20-point lead over six other Democrats (Denise O’Donnell, who hasn’t yet announced her intentions, was also included).

Holtzman said she was so encouraged by the results that she took a leave of absence from her law firm to explore a possible statewide run.

Holtzman ran a failed bid for the US Senate in 1992, finishing last in a four-way primary. The race was very bitter, and Holtzman took heat for a $450,000 Fleet Bank loan she took out to pay for TV ads. She was cleared of charges, but the issue came back to haunt her in the 1993 comptroller primary that she lost to Alan Hevesi.