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Paterson campaign takes on Cuomo

Responding to reports that Attorney General Andrew Cuomo will announce a run for governor at the end of March, Gov. David Paterson’s campaign fired the first shot of a potential primary Sunday.

“Voters have had enough of Albany politicians winking at them while doing nothing to solve their problems,” said Richard Fife, Paterson’s campaign manager. “Since it’s clear Mr. Cuomo is running for governor, it’s time for him to stop ducking the hard questions of how he would close a $7.4 billion [state] deficit.”

Cuomo, 52, the son of former Gov. Mario Cuomo, has reportedly been mulling a run since shortly after Paterson took office upon the resignation of Eliot Spitzer in 2008. Citing a source close to Cuomo, the Daily News reported Sunday that the Attorney General has decided to run because there are problems in the state he believes he can solve.

Cuomo’s spokesman did not return a phone call seeking comment.

On the Republican side, former Long Island Rep. Rick Lazio is the biggest name to declare for governor.

Paterson has seen his favorability ratings inch up in recent months, though he still trails Cuomo by large margins.

By waiting until the end of March, Cuomo would presumably avoid getting entangled in difficult questions over the budget, which is supposed to be passed by April.

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