Weiner faces growing calls to quit mayor's race (VIDEO)

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Weiner wants to focus on issues; newspapers, opponents want sexter to drop out

NEW YORK (AP) — Anthony Weiner pressed ahead with his bid for mayor Wednesday despite growing calls for him to drop out over a new sexting scandal, saying the campaign is too important to abandon over “embarrassing personal things” becoming public.

Rivals, newspaper editorial pages and at least one former New York congressional colleague urged the Democrat to quit the race a day after he acknowledged exchanging raunchy messages and photos online even after the same sort of behavior destroyed his congressional career two years ago.

“I think he should pull out of the race. I think he needs serious psychiatric help,” Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y.

Weiner brushed off such calls and kept up his campaign schedule. He was greeted with boos as he took the stage to speak at a public housing meeting Wednesday evening, but by the end of his remarks, the crowd loudly cheered.

“I thought these things would come out by the end of the campaign, and some of them have. Look, I am pressing forward, running a campaign about the issues, and I’m getting a good response,” he said afterward.

The latest scandal erupted Tuesday after the gossip website The Dirty posted X-rated messages and a crotch shot it said he exchanged with a woman last year while using the online alias “Carlos Danger.”

At a news conference Tuesday evening, Weiner, who has been a favorite in the polls since he launched his political comeback attempt in late May, stood side-by-side with his clearly uncomfortable wife, Huma Abedin, and said he hoped the voters would give him another chance.

Two of the city’s major newspapers, The New York Times and the Daily News, said the 48-year-old Democrat had exhausted his opportunities for forgiveness with his latest indiscretions.

At least three of his mayoral rivals, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and former City Councilman Sal Albanese, both Democrats, and billionaire businessman John Catsimatidis, a Republican, said he should drop out.

As for the voters, some want Weiner to go.

“He’s disgusting,” said magazine editorial assistant Katelin Marinari, 24.

But others said they would still vote for him.

“Do I think morally he’s wrong? Of course. But I’m not voting for a minister; I’m voting for a mayor of New York,” said public relations worker Raven Robinson, 22.

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