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Defying Critics, Paterson Opens His Campaign

Submitted by on February 21, 2010 – 10:09 AM
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Gov. David A. Paterson returned to his boyhood hometown on Saturday and defiantly proclaimed his candidacy for election, portraying himself as a champion of New Yorkers struggling with discrimination and economic hardship.

“So many people are saying I shouldn’t run for governor,” Mr. Paterson told a supportive but relatively subdued crowd of about 400 people at the Hofstra University student center here on Long Island. “But you need to know that this is a governor that does not quit.”

Mr. Paterson, who ignored White House pressure to pass up the race, faces the daunting task of building enough political support to win the Democratic nomination. On Saturday, he compared himself to ordinary New Yorkers struggling against the odds: An unemployed sheet-metal worker from Rochester, a black single mother from Queens and a family forced out of East Harlem by gentrification.

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