Team Paterson: Campaign Charging "Full Steam Ahead" - NBC New York

Team Paterson: Campaign Charging "Full Steam Ahead"

Governor plans to kick off campaign with statewide tour this weekend



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    Gov. David Paterson plans to officially launchi his campaign for election on Feb. 20 in Long Island.

    This Gov isn't easily deterred.

    Saddled by rumors about his personal life, poor approval numbers and lack of funds, Gov. David Paterson insists his electoral campaign is plowing forward.

    The governor is slated to officially kick off his campaign Saturday morning at Hofstra University, his alma mater, in Hempstead, L.I., and then spend the weekend making various stops throughout upstate New York before rallying in Harlem Sunday. 

    Campaign manager Richard Fife dismissed newspaper reports yesterday that Team Paterson was in shambles. He said all systems are go and the governor is eager to get his message out in what has become an increasingly unreceptive environment.

    "He looks forward to taking his case directly to the people," Fife told the Daily News.

    On Monday, the paper reported that the governor's campaign was such a mess that officials, concerned about too many no-shows by high-profile New York Democrats, thought about bagging plans entirely to kick off the effort on Saturday.

    Important Dems upstate told the News they had no intention of appearing at any of the campaign events on Paterson's schedule for this weekend. A spokesman for the Buffalo mayor's office told the paper Mayor Byron Brown hadn't heard anything from Paterson's office and "does not intend to attend" the governor's pit-stop in Buffalo.

    Monroe County Democratic Chairman Joseph Morelle said he wouldn't head to a planned event in Rochester because he hadn't made up his mind on who to support in the gubernatorial race.

    Most Democrats already consider Cuomo the presumptive nominee and enthusiastically await the moment he throws his hat into the ring. Polls have consistently indicated that the attorney general would decimate the governor in a potential primary.

    Aside from a few bright spots, things have only gotten bleaker for Paterson in the last few months.

    Speculation about his resignation began swirling after reports leaked that The New York Times planned to publish a damning profile of the governor – one rife with reports of affairs, drug use and other alleged improprieties. Paterson insisted the profile contained no such defamations, and argued powerful political players who wanted to see him back out of the race engineered the media skewering.

    The Times has refused to comment pending publication of the article.