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Cuomo Drops Out of Gubernatorial Race

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Andrew Cuomo

Albany, NY – Democrat Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday he's dropping out of the Democratic primary race for governor.

A new poll showed Cuomo trailing H. Carl McCall by 20 percentage points just one week before the primary election.

The former Housing Secretary credited McCall with running a superior TV ad campaign. And he said he didn't want to resort to the inevitable negative campaigning that would have been necessary to catch up.

Instead, he says he will support McCall's bid to oust Governor Pataki in November. Cuomo says this is a unique time, a time that requires Democrats be united.

"We need healing now maybe more than ever before, especially in the memory of 9/11," said Cuomo. "If we were to now spend two million dollars this week on an acrimonious campaign, we would only guarantee a bloody and broke nominee, no matter who won."

Cuomo added the most important thing for Democrats now is the banner that they carry -- not who carries it. State Assemblyman and local Cuomo supporter Sam Hoyt agreed. He says with Pataki currently leading in the polls, the November election will be a tough battle for Democrats. He says dropping out of the race was the honorable thing for Cuomo to do.

Hoyt says he will have no trouble supporting Cuomo's primary rival, H. Carl McCall.

"The fact is they were very, very similar in substance, though very different in style. Basically, these two candidates were alot alike," said Hoyt. "And I will be strongly supporting Carl's campaign for the next two months."

Attending Cuomo's announcement in New York City were other prominent supporters, including his father, former Governor Mario Cuomo and Bill Clinton. The former President predicted that, although Cuomo has bowed out of this race, voters have not seen the last of his political career.