February 26th, 2010
11:47 AM ET
12 years ago

Paterson won't run for a full term

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/26/art.paterson.file2.gi.jpg caption="A Democratic source tells CNN that Paterson will not campaign for a full term."](CNN) - Embattled New York Gov. David Paterson is expected to announce later Friday that he won't seek a full term in office, but will remain as governor for the rest of the year, a Democratic Party source tells CNN.

Paterson is expected to go before cameras later Friday in New York City.

At a news conference Thursday evening, Paterson said he would not resign the governor's office, and speaking of his bid for a full term in office, he added that "I'm in this for the long haul."

Paterson's meeting with reporters was his first since a New York Times story reported that the governor may have intervened in a domestic assault case involving a top aide. Paterson has suspended an aide and asked state attorney general Andrew Cuomo, who is weighing his own primary challenge against Paterson, to investigate allegations of wrongdoing amid news reports that the aide assaulted a woman and that state police pressured her to keep quiet.

The controversy prompted the state's deputy secretary for public safety, a Cabinet member who supervises the state police, to resign unexpectedly Thursday. She said the governor and state police "acknowledged" direct contact with the woman - an allegation that the governor declined to discuss in a radio interview Thursday.

Paterson expressed confidence that the investigation will clear him of any wrongdoing, saying, "I will allow the attorney general's office to conduct the investigation. I want to get the bottom of everything that happened here. The attorney general wants to get to the bottom of it. And I will be cooperating with that investigation and I am satisfied at the end of the investigation that everybody will understand."

Friday morning New York City's two tabloid newspapers, the New York Post and the New York Daily News, in large front page headlines, delcared that for Paterson, it's "time to go."

In their front page editorial, the New York Post declared, "It's time for David Paterson to close out his role in one of the strangest episodes in New York history and turn over the affairs of state to his own lieutenant governor, Richard Ravitch."

There was a similar message on the front page of the New York Daily News, which said, "Today we urge David Paterson to step down. Paterson has given serious cause to doubt both his word and his judgment. His administration is in shambles. He has demeaned his high office."

At Thursday's news conferene, Paterson also declared that he will press on with his troubled election bid, despite calls from fellow state Democrats to suspend his campaign. But Paterson did not completely rule out ending his campaign, which was facing difficult odds even before the New York Times story was published. He said he would spend the "next few days" soliciting the opinions of other party leaders.

"I am not suspending my campaign, but I am talking to a number of elected officials around the state, as I would, fellow Democrats, to hear their opinions," he said at a press

Asked about the calls for him to back out of the race, Paterson said he had "an open mind," adding that "I want the Democrats to win this November."

"I want the governor of the state of New York to be Democratic, hopefully me, and I will weigh what they have to say, but right now I am a candidate for governor."

Polls indicate that Cuomo leads in a hypothetical primary matchup by 30 to 40 points over Paterson, who said he is in the race "for the long haul." But the governor added that "I am not in it without having my colleagues feel they can talk to me about this."

Paterson was lieutenant governor when a sex scandal led to then-Gov. Eliot Spitzer's departure from the office in March 2008.

- CNN's Mary Snow, Paul Steinhauser, and Peter Hamby contributed to this report

Filed under: David Paterson • Popular Posts
soundoff (58 Responses)
  1. Joe

    Latest in the "Three Ring Circus" that New York politics has become. The "racist" comments are coming from the usual suspects, but Patterson was his own worst enemy.

    After respending all those years in the Legislature and coming from a "political" family, we all expected more. The Senate appointment fiasco was just the first in a long line of goofs. Seems that the 21st Century is one of "crash and burn" in the Empire State. As state that gave us two Roosevelts, a Harriman, Rockfeller, Carey and other distinguised Governors. Too bad!

    February 26, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  2. Mike

    I am blind, but I can see.... New York trashed a decent man for the insider Cuomo. Paterson is the fall guy for Spitzer's incompetence.

    February 26, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  3. jay

    Not a shock. Hopefully the people of the great state of New York will now wake up and look at a map, and see that there is a huge state across all those bridges, and look toward upstate for their next Governor. Stop electing liberal NYC democrats to the Governor's mansion.

    February 26, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  4. c spurgeon

    This is good. On with the election.

    February 26, 2010 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  5. Joe from Ohio

    This Guy has not done anything Charley Rangel has not done.

    I understand his wish to run for re-election.

    His only mistake was not asking Rangel which newspapers to buy off!

    February 26, 2010 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  6. Carole

    He clearly has issues that are way ahead of his intellect. The best was yet to come if he continued his office seeking. Leave it alone, go forth into the world and try to do something else. NY is way better without him. SNL could use him because he seemed to have a very good comedic side.

    February 26, 2010 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  7. kpAT

    What exactly does this mean?

    Gov. David Paterson is expected to announce later Friday that he won't seek a full term in office, but will remain as governor for the rest of the year,

    What is he going for? Half a term? F'ing moron. Just say you are stopping your campaign and retiring. Then maybe you can apply for Michelle's Social Secretary position

    February 26, 2010 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  8. Elizabeth

    I'm not a fan of Gov. Paterson but what the media in New York did to this man is shameful.

    February 26, 2010 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
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