David Paterson: ‘I Cannot Run for Office and Try to Run the State’s Business at the Same Time’

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Maintaining that he has "never abused his office," Governor David Paterson just announced that he will not run for reelection this year. "No matter how difficult the circumstances have been, I’ve never let down my oath to serve the people of New York with faith and integrity," he said. "There’s more work to do. Up until the last few days I was looking to participate in that work in a full four-year term. But I am being realistic about politics. It hasn’t been the latest distractions, it’s been an accumulation of obstacles that have obfuscated me from bring my message to the public."

Pragmatically, he explained, it was simply impossible for him to try to maintain his campaign. "There are times in politics when you have to know not to strive for service and to step back. And that moment has come for me," he said. "It has become increasingly clear to me in the last few days that I cannot run for office and try to run the state’s business at the same time." When asked by a reporter whether he would endorse likely candidate Andrew Cuomo, Paterson said he'd "offer [his] assistance" but dropped it there. When asked about his famous quote that he would only leave his office in a box, or through the ballot box, he quipped: "I’m leaving because of the ballot box, because it will be hard to reelect me when I’m not running!"