NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) - Wall Street seems to be backing the right-hand man of former New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer for the post in November, according to a recent analysis of campaign contributions.

Spitzer served as state attorney general prior to being elected governor in 2006. He resigned in March 2008 amid allegations of his involvement as a client in a high-priced prostitution ring.

New York's current attorney general, Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, is running for governor in November.

Now, Eric Dinallo, who was once nominated by Spitzer to serve as the head of the state's insurance department, is one of five Democratic candidates facing off in the Sept. 14 primary for the AG post.

An analysis of campaign contributions as reported by the Financial Times shows Dinallo, who was the state's insurance regulator during the financial crisis, has attracted more than $100,000 from financial companies.

That is significantly more than any other candidate, including Nassau County district attorney Kathleen Rice, who is considered the frontrunner and leads the overall fundraising race. Rice, the Financial Times reported, has raised $65,000 from financial companies.

Eight of the 10 biggest individual donors to Dinallo's campaign come from a financial background.

Some of his supporters include Jim Chanos, a well-known short seller who has donated $50,000 individually and $16,500 through Kynikos Associates, his hedge fund; Brian Duperreault, chief executive of Marsh & McLennan, the insurance broker, has donated $37,800; and Jon Winkelried and Marc Spilker, formerly high-profile employees at Goldman Sachs, have donated $25,000 and $18,100, respectively.

Dinallo told the Financial Times his support from the financial sector was due in part to the work he did during the crisis.

As an assistant attorney general, Dinallo led the state's Investor Protection Bureau and prosecuted fraud and abuse on Wall Street.

He used Martin Act to investigate conflicts of interest that he says took advantage of average investors, which resulted in the $1.4 billion settlement from the nation's largest financial firms, including Merrill Lynch, Citigroup and Bear Sterns.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by e-mail at jessica@legalnewsline.com.

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