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Paterson announces that he will not seek a new term

Stephon Johnson | 4/12/2011, 5:26 p.m.

According to sources within the Democratic Party, New York State Governor David Paterson has decided to suspend his election campaign and drop out of the gubernatorial race.

Paterson is expected to make a formal announcement later this afternoon.

Amid allegations that the governor had intervened in a domestic violence dispute involving David Johnson, his top aide, Paterson called for an investigation by current Attorney General, and rumored gubernatorial candidate, Andrew Cuomo into actions by members of his administration and State Police.

These allegations were chronicled in a "bombshell" story by the New York Times on the governor's aide several weeks ago. A spokesperson for Paterson denied that the governor tried to thwart the woman from pursuing a domestic violence case against Johnson.

Once word of the Times piece spread, Deputy Secretary for Public Safety Denise O'Donnell decided to resign, calling the accusations against Paterson and Co. "unacceptable."

Several government-watchdog groups have said that Cuomo should have an independent prosecutor investigate the case due to a possible conflict of interest.

Last week, Paterson issued a statement to the AmNews about the New York Times' piece defending Johnson. "The New York Times has chosen to splash his youthful offenses across the pages of its newspaper--even though the courts of our state have ordered them to be sealed," he said. "Mistakes committed during one's youth are determined by law to be kept sealed for a reason--to give a young person a second chance at a productive life. I profoundly believe in this principle of redemption and giving young people a second chance."

Paterson was elected lieutenant governor, when he ran under the Eliot Spitzer ticket, in 2006. He was forced to take over the governor position in 2008 after Spitzer resigned amid a prostitution scandal.

Today, many of the local New York City tabloids have called for Paterson to not only drop out of the race, but resign. It looks like they'll get one of their wishes.