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by Jay Gallagher

Friday, February 26, 2010

Paterson makes it official: he's not running

Gov. David Paterson made it official this afternoon: he’s not running for another term.
“I am ending my campaign for governor,’’ Paterson said a news conference in Manhattan. “I cannot run for office and manage the state’s business at the same time.’’
The announcement by Paterson came almost two years after the former lieutenant governor took over the job after former Gov. Eliot Spitzer quit in disgrace because of a prostitution scandal. Paterson’s withdrawal seems to all but assure that Attorney General Andrew Cuomo will be the Democratic nominee for governor this year, although Cuomo hasn’t yet formally announced his intention to run.
Paterson is the state’s first African American and first legally blind governor. He announced his decision not to run just a day after The New York Times published a damaging story about his potential involvement in an attempted coverup of a domestic-violence complaint against one of his top aides, David Johnson. Paterson asked Cuomo to investigate the allegations.
Paterson today denied he had done anything wrong.
“I have never abused my office. Not now, not ever,’’ he said.
Even before the domestic-violence scandal broke, Paterson looked like a long shot to keep the job he inherited. Polls showed him with record-low approval ratings and trailing far behind Cuomo in polls.
The most likely lineup of candidates for governor in the fall appears to be Cuomo versus former Suffolk County Congressman Rick Lazio, a Republican who ran against Hillary Clinton for a Senate seat a decade ago. Paterson said today he hasn’t decided whether to endorse Cuomo.

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