Paterson Aide to Cuomo: “Stop Ducking”

Though it's widely accepted that Andrew Cuomo will run for governor, an aide to Gov. David Paterson wants the attorney general to stop playing coy.

"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 deficit, balance the budget and pass ethical and fiscal reforms," said Paterson campaign manager Richard Fife.

The comments came as Paterson took the afternoon to watch the Jets game.  "That's a decision he (Cuomo) has to make and I hear all kinds of reports even about myself that certainly aren't true so I'll let the attorney general handle the reports about him," the governor said.

"Governor Paterson has been clear and straightforward with New Yorkers and has never backed down from a challenge. During very difficult times, he's fighting for Democratic principles and putting the people of New York first,'' Fife said.

Cuomo, who is expected to announce his candidacy next month and already has strong support among Democrats, had no immediate comment.

Earlier this month, the Associated Press reported that Cuomo is sitting pretty financially ahead of a possible campaign bid.  He will report campaign funds of $16.1 million in finance filings due to the state Board of Elections.  Paterson has $3 million on hand.

Lee Miringoff, a pollster at Marist College, says Paterson is in trouble because he spent millions on a TV ad campaign but didn't replenish his account.

Paterson says he's collected $2.2 million in the six-month period covered by the filings due Friday. Cuomo took in $6.8 million for the same period. In July's reports, Cuomo had $10.1 million to Paterson's $5.4 million.

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