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Scandal: New York's Gov. Paterson to drop election bid; announcement expected soon

Gov. David Paterson has told Democratic leaders that he won't seek election to a full term amid a roiling scandal over whether he and his troopers intimidated a woman who'd reported domestic violence against one of his top aides, The Post has learned.

Paterson communicated his intentions to top advisers and supporters, saying he'll make an announcement today, multiple sources said -- confirming a Post report.

Paterson, who took over the state's top spot when Eliot Spitzer resigned after it was disclosed that he had sex with a prostitute, is expected to say he won't resign.

Just last night Paterson said he intended to continue his campaign, which he launched this past weekend. But he also said he would talk to fellow Democrats about his future.

Paterson yesterday was hit with a flurry of body blows following the disclosure that he called a woman who said aide David Johnson attacked her. In addition, the State Police may have intervened in the case.

Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who likely will become the Democratic nominee for governor, is investigating what happened.

The resignation yesterday of Denise E. O’Donnell, Paterson's deputy secretary for public safety, was the biggest jolt to the governor's campaign.

"The fact that the governor and members of the State Police have acknowledged direct contact with a woman who had filed for an order of protection against a senior member of the Governor’s staff is a very serious matter," she wrote in a statement. "These actions are unacceptable regardless of their intent."

Even friends began abandoning Paterson.

Rep. Steve Israel (D-LI), a friend of Paterson, was the first prominent Democrat to call for the governor to ditch his campaign.

"It's become apparent that he should not seek election, and should announce it soon," Israel said. "Sometimes, friends have to speak unpleasant truths."

Rep. Nita Lowey (D-Westchester), went so far as to say that the governor might be too damaged to serve out the remainder of his term.

"Aside from the allegations, the political reality is the governor cannot be an effective candidate or official for New York," Lowey said.

Click to view image: '61d251b7d5f9-davidpaterson100.jpg'

Added: Feb-26-2010 
By: e4bannan
Tags: david paterson, new york, governor, democrat, election, allegations, scandal, intimidation, state troopers
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