The 2009 elections may have just ended, but Gov. David Paterson, struggling amid poor poll numbers and a party that wants him out, is looking to get a jump on next year.
Two new television ads for Paterson's re-election campaign began airing in the state today as part of his multi-million-dollar ad blitz – the first in the 2010 governor's race.
The move to release ads beats back speculation that Paterson wouldn't run. As recently as last month, the governor said he wasn't sure he would pursue a full term.
One of the ads targets his critics, including the likes of President Barack Obama, who say he shouldn't be running. He says he's the guy the state needs to make the difficult fiscal choices and go head-to-head with the big unions on wage and other issues.
"Some say I shouldn't be running for governor. Some state legislators said that when I forced them to close $30 billion of deficit," Paterson said in the 30-second ad, called "Some Say," which also talks about backlash from union leaders and big corporations. "It might've been easier if all I thought about was running for governor, but I think it's more important to do what's right for the people of New York."
The second ad, called "When," focuses on Paterson's personal and political achievements and some of the obstacles he's had to overcome since taking office, like making tough economic decisions even when the political tide ran against them and calling special sessions when no one wanted to go back to Albany.
Putting people first is the overarching theme for both ads.
Paterson campaign spokeswoman Trafy Sefl said there was no dead date for the ads at this point, and they could end up running for a few weeks.
Meanwhile, Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Lazio is running on a platform of ending the dysfunction in Albany, which was best exemplified by a month-long Senate stalemate over the summer that prevented any work from being done and infuriated voters throughout the state.