UPDATE: New York governor David Paterson officially announced Friday that he
would not seek reelection to the seat he assumed in 2008.
"I have never abused my office —not now, not ever," Paterson said at a press conference in New York City. Paterson is embroiled in the middle of a scandal involving one of his aides.
The New York Daily News reported earlier Friday that Paterson was expected to make the announcement. The governor plans to serve out the remainder of his term.
The decision by Paterson clears the path for New York attorney general Andrew Cuomo, who is widely presumed to be preparing a Democratic bid for governor.
The embattled governor, known as a strong gay rights advocate, appears to have suffered a mortal political blow this week. The New York Times reported late Wednesday that he had a brief telephone conversation earlier this month with a woman who accused one of his top aides of domestic violence. Although details remain unclear, the contact has raised questions about whether Paterson and state police attempted to improperly influence the woman to drop her case against the aide.