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This time, Anthony Weiner's wife steps out to defend him

The latest sexting scandal involving former U.S. Congressman Anthony Weiner, as he seeks to become New York City mayor, has also focused attention on his wife, Huma Abedin, CBS New York station WCBS-TV reports.

Word of the new scandal erupted Tuesday when 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."

Already, Weiner's rivals, newspaper editorial pages, and at least one former New York congressional colleague are urging the Democrat to quit the mayoral race, after he acknowledged exchanging raunchy messages and photos online even after the same sort of behavior destroyed his congressional career two years ago.

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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, and said he hoped the voters would give him another chance.

Abedin, a longtime adviser to former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, reaffirmed her love and support for her husband and said the matter was "between us." It was a contrast to 2011, when she wasn't by her husband's side as he resigned from Congress over explicit text messages.

By her own admission, Abedin had previously shunned media attention. But Abedin wrote a recent Harper Bazaar's piece to explain why she is supporting her husband's mayoral campaign.

"So why am I doing this?," Abedin wrote. "Because Anthony has always been a smart, caring, and dedicated person, and while he's the same public servant who wants what's best for the people he represents, he is now something else -- a better man. New Yorkers will have to decide for themselves whether or not to give him a second chance. I had to make that same decision for myself, for my son, for our family. And I know in my heart that I made the right one."

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"Huma was the one in the relationship with credibility, and her credibility was supposed to carry him and lift him up into office. And now he's bringing her credibility down along with his," observes author and political analyst Keli Goff . "That's what this has done -- now we don't trust either one of them (or the) stories they're telling about this timeline."

Ruth Houston, author of the book "Is He Cheating On You," told CBS-owned New York radio station WINS, "The message she's trying to convey is, 'I trust him and so should you."'

Dr. Judy Kuriansky, a relationship expert, cited Abedin's previous experience working in politics as advantageous. "I think she made, from a psychological point of view, very cleverly worded statements," she said. "She has been in this political game for many years. She's worked with the Clintons. She understands how the game is going and how it works."

As for the voters, some want Weiner to drop out of the race.

"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.

A Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday continued to place Weiner in the top rung of Democratic contenders, though it was taken largely before the scandal broke.

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