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Old December 7th, 2004, 08:43 PM   #1
New Jack City
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Spitzer says he will run for governor

As I post this, a poll at Newsday's website asks in a poll who would you vote for: Spitzer or Pataki? Spitzer is leading with 63%.

NY Newsday

Spitzer says he will run for governor

BY ERROL A. COCKFIELD JR.
ALBANY BUREAU CHIEF

December 7, 2004, 11:10 AM EST

ALBANY -- State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, who has gained national fame through his probes of Wall Street's improprieties, said this morning that he would run for governor in 2006 on a platform of reform.

The announcement by Spitzer had been anticipated for months as some tied his aggressive inquiries into the practices of financial institutions to his aspirations to fill the top seat in the Albany statehouse.

Spitzer, 45, of Manhattan, said his three top priorities would be reforming a state government that has been plagued by late budgets, improving education and controlling rising taxes and debt.

"The trajectory the state is on right now is not one we should be satisfied with," Spitzer said during an interview this morning with Newsday. "We need a new direction. We need renewed vigor, renewed engagement."

With Republican Gov. George Pataki undecided about a possible run for a fourth term, Spitzer's announcement immediately placed more pressure on Pataki -- who some have speculated is interested in running for president -- to sort out his aspirations.

Spitzer said his decision came after calls to supporters and Democratic party leaders in recent days in which he stated his intent. Those calls did not come as any surprise to the Democratic party leadership which has already thrown its full weight behind a Spitzer candidacy.

With some $5 million in his coffers for a run, Spitzer already has an edge over Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi, who has also said he is exploring a bid for governor. While he has increased his profile by arguing for reform through his "Fix Albany" campaign, Suozzi has less name recognition and the handicap of seeking the Democratic line from the suburbs.
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