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

Paterson won't run for a full term

A Democratic source tells CNN that Paterson will not campaign for a full term.

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. felicia

    That's good because he clearly doesn't know what he's doing.

    February 26, 2010 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  2. SMC, central PA

    I'm a little unclear on the details, but this sounds exactly like what Sarah Palin did as Governor ... and then she ran for Vice President of the USA!?!

    February 26, 2010 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  3. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    It's a crying shame that the tabloids has forced this man out of office on the premise of misconception and falsehoods. Although he wouldn't have won the election anyway, the governor should have been given an even playing field to run his campaign. I'm ashamed of you today NY press. SMH

    February 26, 2010 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  4. No Incumbents 2010

    Paterson will make millions as a lobbyist and speaker after Obama makes him an Ambassador to Timbuktu.

    February 26, 2010 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  5. Lars Kelley

    Such a shame. Oh well, less reason for me to go out and vote in November.

    He has done the right things, even if it hasn't been popular.

    February 26, 2010 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  6. Moderate

    Maybe next time you will listen to the President when he tells you something instead of lashing out with your friends from NY. Now how stupid do you look!

    February 26, 2010 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  7. Chad from Tampa

    Is it me or does this seem to be a trend??? This is the year the Dems became irrevelent.

    February 26, 2010 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  8. turbobunga

    ...this is terrible! ...the Republican candidate has an assured win.

    February 26, 2010 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  9. Joey Public

    You kicked a competent candidate (Eliot Spitzer) with can-do attitude out and you replaced him with an incompetent B-actor. Unfortunately, the womanizing still went on while state governance suffered. Good riddance!

    February 26, 2010 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  10. Mark L.

    Yes !! Andrew Cuomo for Governor – ALL THE WAY !! Andrew Cuomo is the Man !!

    February 26, 2010 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  11. Paul

    I have to admit I didn't see this coming.

    February 26, 2010 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  12. TRUTH

    what if we get a gop governor after the voting?, this would not even be a thought if HILARY would be -should be prez. B. OBAMA though is doing a good job after the mess he eas left by bush. The U S A is best with DEMS running the show

    February 26, 2010 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  13. The lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    I sorry for you, not sorry for me.
    But what does that leave the NYS voters to choose from now?
    Cuomo or Lazio? Both of these two men are owned by the Special interests groups. Who will come up to be a representative of the people? Who can balance the budget in a legislature that knows nothing about cutting spending?

    February 26, 2010 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  14. Ben

    Not surprised at all. He just saved himself the embarassment of getting his tail kicked in November.

    February 26, 2010 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  15. John

    We all know what the Governor Paterson situation is really about. I know it and all of you in the media knows it. It is really about putting another one of those hypocrites you all like in office. The Gov is a real person and you all don't like real people. Even when genuine people are elected they end up having to conform to the hypocrisy or being destroyed one way or the other. Another thing, why is it that when bad decisions causes problem for the public the average person don't seem to have a clue who's at fault? Oh it's the because the media help the liars to get their messages out. For example, we all know that the president inherited the economic mess we're in yet most people seem to have selective amnesia when it comes to this. The economy would be a major for any administration so let's not act surprise that the president can't just say "so let be" and transform things.
    P.S. you probably wont read my comment but that's ok.

    February 26, 2010 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  16. Padraig

    Internal party viciousness drove this man out of office. A person who stood for Clinton's mantra "pay as you go". The Democrat NY hierarchy wanted him to continue spending and driving the state in the ruin and he looked out for the people and said no. An excellent way of supporting your own – feeding on his carcass

    February 26, 2010 11:13 am at 11:13 am |

    He didn't have a prayer of winning anyway!

    February 26, 2010 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  18. Daniel Tetteh

    I am a citizen of planet earth. I wish to ask some simple questions. What crime has the governor of New York committed? Did he ever leave his wife and state to visit a lover in Latin America?

    February 26, 2010 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  19. Preston kk

    Pkm half a term governor what did sara tell you

    February 26, 2010 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  20. Dave

    Spitzer was pushed out of office in 2008. Paterson appears to be traveling down that same road. In the last two years the State of New York citizens have had no say as to who is the chief executive of the state. The state is on the brink of default and powerful interests are stopping us from doing what has to be done to fix our budget. If the governor has done something illegal than the attorney general should investigate and charge him with a crime as well as all other parties involved. No half measures.

    February 26, 2010 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  21. Joan Wheeler

    I think this is best. No one seems to want Paterson. Let's get New York back on track.

    February 26, 2010 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  22. joe kiloz

    Democratic Party racism at its worse, affair directed by Commisar Obama.

    February 26, 2010 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  23. John independent from NY

    Too bad he was the only responsible Democrat in NY.

    February 26, 2010 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  24. gt

    man ,, has new york picked some real good govenors lately.... pitful...

    February 26, 2010 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  25. wnzmtc

    I'll miss those SNL Patterson skits

    February 26, 2010 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
1 2 3