(CNN) - New York Gov. David A. Paterson said Sunday he will run for election to hold onto his office next year, despite a New York Times report that said the White House is "urging" him to withdraw.
Senior White House officials deny the report, which said that President Barack Obama "sent a request" to Paterson. The paper described it as "an extraordinary intervention into a state political race by the president."
The Times report cited "two senior administration officials and a New York Democratic operative with direct knowledge of the situation."
Speaking to CNN, White House officials acknowledged that aides have conveyed to Paterson's camp that they are aware of Paterson's unpopularity at home and the political troubles it could cause.
"It's no secret that Democrats in New York are very concerned about the situation," said one White House official. "We share those concerns and those
concerns have been conveyed in an appropriate way."
Paterson told reporters Sunday, "I am running for office. I'm not going to discuss confidential conversations." He said he was focused on state legislation, not "distractions."
The New York Times story said the situation is "delicate," and noted that Paterson is one of only two African-American governors in the United States, the other being Deval Patrick of Massachusetts.
The report said the president's "political team and other party leaders have grown increasingly worried that the governor's unpopularity could drag down Democratic members of Congress in New York, as well as the Democratic-controlled Legislature, in next fall's election."
Paterson was lieutenant governor when a scandal led to then-Gov. Eliot Spitzer's departure from the office in March 2008.
– CNN's Ed Henry contributed to this report.
Updated: 5:00 p.m.