With the stunning Spitzer sex scandal looking like it can only end with the New York governor’s resignation, Lt. Governor David Paterson is set to become the new chief executive of New York. (And in a serious karmic slap to Spitzer, the governor’s arch-nemesis, Joseph Bruno, would become acting Lt. Governor.) Rumors are swirling that Patterson could be sworn in as early as tonight.
Who is Paterson? His two most obvious, if not salient, features are that he’s blind and he’s black, which would make him the first blind governor in the country and only the fourth African-American to run a state in US history.
Paterson was elected to the state Senate in 1985, representing a district that included Manhattan’s Harlem, and rose to become New York’s highest-ranking black legislator. The son of former New York Secretary of State Basil Paterson, who was the first African American NYC Deputy Mayor, the first to run for statewide office in New York, and the Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor in 1970, Paterson gained the post of Senate minority leader in 2002. In 2004, he became the first blind person to address the Democratic National Convention.
What kind of governor will he be? No one really knows but here’s a video I found on YouTube of Paterson speaking at Albany’s National Reform Day last April.
He’s not the flashiest speaker but says some very important things. And read these profiles for info on the man about to ascend to New York State’s top job.
10 Things You Didn’t Know About David Patterson, US News.com
NY Could Get First Governor with Caribbean Roots, CaribNews.com
The Next Governor, The Daily Voice