ALBANY - Gov. David A. Paterson has shaved off his mustache, joining the past seven chief executives of New York, who were all clean-shaven.

Asked about his new look Wednesday, Paterson said he removed the hair above his lip at the request of his son, Alexander. The 15-year-old also was behind his father shaving off his trademark beard last month.

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"My son told me after the last expedition [removing the beard] that he wanted to see what I looked like without a mustache," the governor told reporters here. "So, I'll see him later today and he'll get back to you."

Paterson indicated whether his whiskers remain shorn would be up to his son.

The governor also joked that his shaving was tied to this year's growing budget deficit, projected to approach $3 billion. "Additional deficit means additional cutting and it's likely before the end of this process [of closing the deficit] you will see me bald."