NY gov shaves his beard; the 'stache stays

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ALBANY, N.Y. - ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York Gov. David Paterson is trying out a new look — he's lost the beard but kept the 'stache.

When asked Monday why he shaved the beard he's had for as long as anyone remembers around Albany, he joked it came down to "more cutbacks."

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Paterson, who's seeking election in 2010, says his son suggested the change. He joked that the fresh shave wasn't inspired by a letter from a little girl, like the one who famously urged President Lincoln to grow a beard.

Paterson's trademark salt-and-pepper beard was a key makeup element in satire of the legally blind governor on "Saturday Night Live." He may have been the first New York governor to sport a beard in a century. Portraits show Gov. Charles E. Hughes had one back in 1907.

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