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McCall Thanks Cuomo for Dropping Out

By Joyce Kryszak

Buffalo, NY – Gubernatorial candidate H. Carl McCall made a stop in Buffalo Wednesday where he began refocusing his campaign. The Democrat got an instant boost toward the November election when Andrew Cuomo suddenly dropped out of the primary race on Tuesday.

It's been a long hot summer for McCall. The state comptroller and gubenatorial candidate has been fighting on two fronts -- against incumbent George Pataki and against well known Democratic challenger, Andrew Cuomo. The primary battle alone sapped valuable resources from the McCall campaign's efforts to catch up with Pataki in the polls.

Still, McCall publically thanked Cuomo for what he called his "gracious exit." And as for Pataki, McCall says he's not focusing on the troubling poll numbers.

"You know what I look at? I look at the numer of kids who are not passing their standardized tests. I look at the number of people who are leaving upstate New York. I look at the number of senior citizens who can't afford to buy their prescription drugs. Those are the numbers that I look at," said McCall. "And when you look at those numbers and realize that Pataki has failed in those areas, you don't have to worry about the polls, because people know the difference."

But for most of the state's top Democrats, there appeared to be little difference between the two Democratic candidates. Since he pulled out, most of Cuomo's top supporters quickly shifted their backing to McCall. McCall says former President Bill Clinton is even planning a fundraiser for him. And McCall says he'd also be happy to share political cover from Hillary Clinton.

"I have not yet talked to Mrs. Clinton. As you know, I marched with her the other day in the rain," said McCall. "Now, some people may think that was a political union, but she had the biggest umbrella around and I got under her umbrella - you know, that made a lot of sense."

McCall said it will take the continued backing of top Democrats, as well as work by the party's foot soldiers to close the gap with Pataki before November.