Politico

After divorce, Silda Wall takes Eliot Spitzer's name

Written by Lisa

ALBANY — Two years after divorcing former governor Eliot Spitzer, Silda Wall has legally changed her name to Silda Wall Spitzer.

She quietly filed for the name change on Dec. 29 in upstate Columbia County, where she maintains a residence. The filing notes that when Silda Wall and Eliot Spitzer married in 1987, she legally kept her maiden name but adopted his name socially and professionally.

The filing says that practice continued after their divorce, which came after Spitzer’s unsuccessful run for New York City comptroller in 2013 and his romantic relationship with one of his campaign aides. Wall Spitzer famously stood beside her husband in 2008 when he admitted to patronizing prostitutes and resigned from office.

“Petitioner simply desires to change her name from Silda Alice Wall, her legal name, to Silda Alice Wall Spitzer, the name she has been using socially, publicly and professionally for many years and which her children share,” the court filing says.

Acting Supreme Court Justice Henry Zwack signed an order executing the name change on Feb. 9. He also granted Wall Spitzer’s request to waive required public notice of such a change, to avoid “unwanted attention and scrutiny.”

The filing comes as Wall Spitzer, a Harvard-trained lawyer who works at a private equity firm focusing on environmental companies, has begun tiptoeing into politics on her own right. She organized a fund-raiser for Hillary Clinton last year, and campaigned for her in New Hampshire.

In April, she ran as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention, appearing on the ballot as Silda Wall. State election law gives candidates latitude in how their name is presented on the ballot — James easily becomes Jimmy, for example — provided there’s no confusion for voters as to the identity of the candidate.

There are limits, though. In 1998, the state Board of Elections rejected efforts by the late Al Lewis — best known for portraying Grandpa on “The Munsters” — to be listed as “Grandpa Al Lewis” as the Green Party candidate for governor. A judge sided with the board, calling Lewis’ logic “tortured.”

In April, The Wall Street Journal quoted associates of Wall Spitzer saying they were excited to see her name on the ballot. She did not return emails or a call on Monday asking if the name change portended any future candidacy.

Eliot Spitzer, through a spokeswoman, declined to comment.

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