"I hurt a lot of people," Spitzer, a Democrat, says at the outset of the 60-second spot. "When you dig yourself a hole, you can either lie in it the rest of your life or do something positive. That's why I'm running."
In 2008 Spitzer resigned as governor after it became public he had hired prostitutes and tried to cover up wire transfers.
He ends the campaign ad by asking voters for a second chance, CBS News reported Monday.
"Everyone, no matter who you are, deserves a fair shot," Spitzer says. "I'm asking voters to give the same for me."
Spitzer took his second-chance message to a non-campaign venue as well.
During an appearance Monday on Geraldo Rivera's radio show, Spitzer offered words of encouragement to Rivera, who posted on Twitter a semi-nude photo of himself wearing nothing but a towel below his waist, CBS said. (The photo has since been deleted.)
"The public will not only forgive you but they will say, 'Move on,'" Spitzer said. "Because -- and this is where the reservoir of good will comes from -- you have been the journalist who focuses on the tough issues. No one agrees with you all the time."