Washington (CNN) – New York Gov. David Paterson vowed Tuesday that he would not allow unfounded rumors to drive him from office and pledged to run for his own four year term in November.
"Let me let you know this: The only way I am not going to be governor next year is at the ballot box and the only way that I will be leaving office before is in a box," Paterson said at news conference he called Tuesday to discuss the winter storm headed for his state.
While the focus of the news conference was supposed to be about the weather, Paterson was peppered with questions about his personal life. The governor has been dogged for weeks by rumors of womanizing and illegal drug use.
"There hasn't been one shred of evidence that any of these charges that were made against me were even true," said a defiant Paterson, who stood behind a podium with the state seal.
The governor noted that the rumors began circulating at the same time he began gearing up for his campaign.
"The rumors started simultaneous to political calls that I started making asking for support to run for re-election," said Paterson. "But I am not trying to implicate anyone and I am not going to start any rumors myself after what I've been through. The last thing I'm going to do is blame this on any of the other candidates or any of the people who work for them. I don't know who did this believe me if I knew I would be addressing it."
But Paterson said he did think that the planting of the rumors was "somewhat orchestrated."
"And it is really a shame that this much energy has to be devoted to false allegations, unsubstantiated rumors and in some cases straight out lies," said Paterson, who was lieutenant governor before assuming the governorship in March 2008 when then-Gov. Eliot Spitzer resigned.
The rumors are reportedly linked to a profile piece that The New York Times is working on about the governor. Paterson said he contacted a Times editor last week about the rumors. He was interviewed for the story Tuesday, but the governor said that he was never asked to address the allegations.
"I was interviewed for that piece today," said Paterson. "No such questions related to any of that information was asked of me in the interview."
The governor said that his family doesn't appreciate the rumors, but added they have told him to stand his ground and "don't give up."
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