Rick Lazio announced today that he's dropping out of the race for governor. Even though he had lost the Republican primary, he still had a spot on the Conservative line. [State of Politics YouTube]
Said Lazio: "While my heart beckons me forward, my head tells me that my continued presence on the Conservative line would simply lead to the election Andrew Cuomo..."
Not that Lazio's a fan of Paladino. He went on to criticize both candidates -- and many of the shots were aimed right at Paladino.
I look at the two major party candidates and I see flawed individuals -- flawed in terms of public character, flawed in terms of commitment to ideas and principles that will restore restore growth and pride to our great state ... I 'll be watching very closely to see if either candidate can prove to me -- and to New York -- that they can rise above the empty slogans and the name calling. ...
I strongly believe that Andrew Cuomo can not bring about change. But I remain unconvinced that Carl Paladino will bring the improvement that New Yorkers need, deserve and want.
The people deserve a civil campaign and a vibrant exchange on the challenges real New Yorkers face. They deserve leaders who are good, decent, responsible people who will put citizens first. They deserve real results from public servants who are accountable for what they say, how they say it, what they don't say and what they truly deliver.
As it happens, getting Lazio off the ballot isn't as simple him saying, "Thanks, you've all been wonderful, I'm out" -- and it looks like he'll be nominated for a state Supreme Court judgeship in order to complete the maneuver. [Daily Politics]
Lazio's exit should clear up the polling picture a bit. The polls from last week that included Lazio had him at 8 and 9 percent. That's not much -- but if Cuomo and Paladino are close, it could have made a difference.
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