New York Governor Paterson says he's still running

NEW YORK Mon Sep 21, 2009 9:03am IST

New York Governor David Paterson is seen before a televised address from the Red Room at the state capitol in Albany, New York July 8, 2009. REUTERS/Nathaniel Brooks/Pool/Files

New York Governor David Paterson is seen before a televised address from the Red Room at the state capitol in Albany, New York July 8, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Nathaniel Brooks/Pool/Files

Related Topics

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Embattled New York Governor David Paterson said on Sunday he was still running for office, in the face of reports that President Barack Obama had asked him to withdraw from the 2010 race for fear that he cannot regroup from a series of political setbacks.

"I am running for office," Paterson told reporters at a Manhattan parade. "I'm not going to discuss confidential conversations," he said, adding that he planned to continue focusing on matters related to the financial crisis.

The New York Times reported on Sunday that the Obama administration is worried Paterson's unpopularity could drag down New York's Democratic members of Congress and the Democratic-controlled state legislature in November 2010 elections.

Citing an administration official, the Times reported that Obama's request that Paterson step aside was put forward by his political advisers, but approved by the president.

The newspaper quoted another administration official as saying: "Is there concern about the situation in New York? Absolutely." That official said the concern had "been conveyed to the governor."

A "New York Democratic operative with direct knowledge of the situation" also confirmed the request had been put forward, the newspaper said, adding that the operative described Paterson as being "resistant" to the idea.

All of the newspaper's sources spoke on condition of anonymity.

Paterson, who as lieutenant governor assumed leadership of the state government last year after Governor Eliot Spitzer stepped down in a sex scandal, has seen his approval rating in polls plummet for months after a series of political setbacks.

The state Senate was gridlocked for nearly five weeks during June and July as Republicans and Democrats fought for control. The global financial crisis has hit New York hard, and the state has struggled with budget shortfalls.

Obama's unusual request that Paterson not seek to remain in office -- an especially sensitive one given that he is the nation's first black president and Paterson is one of only two black U.S. governors -- was conveyed by U.S. Representative Gregory Meeks, who is close to the administration, the Times said.

Meeks could not be reached for comment, the Times said.

The Wall Street Journal reported late on Sunday that Rick Lazio, a former Republican congressman from Long Island would announce on Tuesday that he will run for New York governor.

Lazio, 51, who served four terms in Congress, ran for the Senate in 2000, but lost to Hillary Clinton, who took the open Senate seat for New York and served two terms. She is now U.S. secretary of state.

FILED UNDER:

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Reforms Push

Reforms Push

Modi may order insurance, coal reforms if vote delayed - officials.  Full Article 

Economic Pulse

Economic Pulse

Crank up public spending to revive growth - chief economic adviser.  Full Article 

PM's Moves

PM's Moves

Modi moves in to speed up $300 billion stuck projects.  Full Article 

Going International

Going International

Bollywood’s Priyanka Chopra sets sights on American TV.  Full Article 

Cook Out

Cook Out

Cook out, Morgan in as England ODI captain - reports.  Full Article 

Sony Cyberattack

Sony Cyberattack

Obama vows U.S. response to North Korea over Sony cyberattack.  Full Article 

Obama's Message

Obama's Message

Obama's year-end message to Americans: I'm not a lame duck.  Pictures 

India This Week

India This Week

Some of our best photos from this week.   Full Coverage 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device   Full Coverage