Eliot Spitzer gained an unlikely group of endorsees Thursday in his run for New York City comptroller: Dozens of city pastors, most of whom represent churches with minority congregations, expressed support for Spitzer, who resigned as the governor of New York in 2009 amid a prostitution scandal.

The pastors--who joined the candidate at a press conference at the First Baptist Church in Crown Heights--emphasized the importance of forgiveness in Christianity, and decried negative attacks by Spitzer's opponent, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer.

“The road to redemption is paved with forgiveness,” said Reverend Daryl Bloodsaw, according to Politicker. “He’s come back to say he has unfinished business.”

Rev. Monte Witherspoon-Brown went after Stringer for focusing on Spitzer's past.

"Mr. Stringer's attacks aren't doing a thing to help our communities, and he seems to be focused on things that not only don't mean very much to us, but are turning us off," Witherspoon-Brown said, according to a statement. "Eliot is talking about the issues that matter to us, more opportunities for small businesses, more transparency with city contracts for MWBE's, and better oversight of agencies like the DOE and NYCHA.”

Another pastor even compared Spitzer to two civil rights heroes.

"When we as African-Americans look at our own history, our own Dr. Martin Luther King, our own Dr. Adam Clayton Powell, there has always been something in a person’s life that others sought to use against their greater good,” said Rev. Johnny Ray Youngblood, according to Politicker. “We think this is just another example of that, we would say, even in white.”

The endorsements come after another prominent pastor--former United States Rep. Floyd Flake, who heads a 23,000-member congregation at Greater Allen African Methodist Episcopal Cathedral in Queens--reneged on his endorsement of Spitzer.

The New York Post reports Flake had originally supporter Stringer, but now says he'll remain neutral in the race, reportedly after receiving pressure from top Democratic leaders.

Stringer's campaign hasn't responded to a request for comment on today's endorsements.

The latest polls told different stories about the comptroller's race. A Marist poll had Spitzer ahead of Stringer by 14 points, while a Quinnipiac poll had him up by just 4.

The two are scheduled to square off in their first debate Monday night.

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  • Mark Sanford

    As South Carolina governor in 2009, Sanford admitted that he was having an extramarital affair with an Argentine woman and lied about his whereabouts, the Associated Press <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20130410/us-anthony-weiner-mayoral-run-glance/" target="_blank">reported</a>. He recently won a GOP runoff for the congressional seat in South Carolina's 1st district and is engaged to his mistress, Maria Belen Chapur.

  • Chuck Robb

    Virginia Democrat Chuck Robb took another shot at the U.S. Senate in 1994, years after admitting to a secret history of partying and sexual encounters, according to the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/1994/03/14/us/after-six-years-of-scandal-senator-seeks-redemption.html" target="_blank">New York Times</a>. He won his bid for a second term.

  • Eliot Spitzer

    The Democrat resigned as governor of New York in 2008 in a call-girl scandal and has since worked as a commentator for CNN and other media organizations, the Associated Press <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20130410/us-anthony-weiner-mayoral-run-glance/" target="_blank">reported</a>.

  • Newt Gingrich

    Former GOP Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich's <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/11/newts-women-newt-gingrich_n_860341.html#s277211&title=19621980" target="_blank">history of marriages, divorces and affairs</a> reemerged in the spotlight while making an unsuccessful bid for the White House in 2012.

  • Barney Frank

    Massachusetts Democratic congressman Barney Frank's career was almost derailed in 1989 after he admitted to a relationship with a male prostitute, but went on to serve for two more decades before retiring, the Associated Press <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20130410/us-anthony-weiner-mayoral-run-glance/" target="_blank">reported</a>.

  • David Vitter

    He won a second term as a Republican senator from Louisiana in 2010, three years after he was identified as a client of a prostitution service in what was dubbed the "DC Madam" scandal, the Associated Press <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20130410/us-anthony-weiner-mayoral-run-glance/" target="_blank">reported</a>.

  • Bill Clinton

    Former President Bill Clinton was impeached by the House in 1998 but acquitted by the Senate over his relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, the Associated Press <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20130410/us-anthony-weiner-mayoral-run-glance/" target="_blank">reported</a>.

  • Ted Kennedy

    Massachusetts Democrat Edward "Ted" Kennedy was serving in the Senate in 1969, when he <a href="http://www.upi.com/Audio/Year_in_Review/Events-of-1969/Chappaquiddick/12303189849225-7/" target="_blank">was involved in</a> a post-party car accident that resulted in the death of Mary Jo Kopechne. Kennedy pled guilty to leaving the scene of an accident, and while the incident was thought to have damaged his presidential prospects, he ultimately served in the Senate until 2009, when he died of brain cancer.

  • Ken Calvert

    The California Republican was serving his first year in Congress in 1993 when he was <a href="http://www.croftononline.com/calvert.JPG" target="_blank">busted by police</a> while engaged in sexual conduct with a prostitute. The incident didn't slow down his political career, as Calvert is still serving on Capitol Hill.