Who Is David Paterson and What Kind of Governor Will He Be?

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.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close
alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.