Meet David Paterson, the Next Governor of New York

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.


patterson-nygov.jpg When David Paterson was elected Lieutenant Governor of New York in November 2006, he was overshadowed by his media darling of a boss, but he was a unique success story in his own right. Paterson is currently New York’s first African-American Lieutenant Governor and is the nation’s highest ranking visually-impaired elected official (Paterson is legally blind). On election night in ’06, he reflected on the promise of the new administration. “Eliot and I have a vision for New York,” he said. “I can’t see it in my eyes, but I can feel it in my heart.”

Now it will be up to him to institute that vision by himself. Not much has been made of Paterson’s gubernatorial prospects in the past; reporting on television this afternoon suggested that Paterson, who is supporting Hillary Clinton for president, was weighing a run for Senate in the event of a vacancy coming open in New York on January 20, 2009. Paterson has one of the biggest challenges of his life ahead of him.

But Paterson has already been tested. In fact, he has made a lifetime of “firsts.” He was elected to represent Harlem in the New York State Senate in 1985 and was elected minority leader in 2002, making him the first non-white legislative leader in New York’s history. When he spoke at the Democratic National Convention in 2004, he was the first legally blind person to ever do so. The son of the first non-white Secretary of State of New York, Paterson will become the first black Governor in New York history and the third black Governor in United States history if/when Eliot Spitzer resigns.

Note: An African-American named P.B.S. Pinchback served as acting governor of Louisiana for just over a month during the 1870s while the sitting governor of LA was being impeached. If you count Pinchback, Paterson will be the fourth Governor in U.S. history.

THE TRUTH IS...

what drives Mother Jones' team of 50-plus journalists. The truth is powerful, as evidenced by how hard those with something to hide, or profit to gain, seek to discredit it. The truth, stated boldly and reported meticulously, is what draws so many readers to Mother Jones.

And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

payment methods

THE TRUTH IS...

what drives Mother Jones' team of 50-plus journalists. The truth is powerful, as evidenced by how hard those with something to hide, or profit to gain, seek to discredit it. The truth, stated boldly and reported meticulously, is what draws so many readers to Mother Jones.

And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate