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Paterson to take over as state Democratic chair

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Former Gov. David Paterson will assume the chairmanship of the state Democratic Party, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday morning.

Assemblyman Keith Wright, who was the party’s lone chair following the resignation of Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, is stepping down from the post.

“This November, Democratic candidates have a proven record of accomplishments to run on, with jobs coming back in every region of the state, new progressive reforms making our communities safer and fairer, and a renewed sense of pride in the direction our State is moving,” Cuomo said in a statement.

Miner had publicly clashed with Cuomo, most notably over a plan to smooth out local pension costs.

Wright, a Manhattan Democrat who leads the party there, had been working in recent weeks to help Cuomo shore up support among the liberal base of the party.

Four years ago, Paterson bowed out of running for a full term as Cuomo, then the attorney general, was gearing up for a gubernatorial run.

Despite their initial jockeying in 2010, Paterson and Cuomo have been publicly close with one another, frequently praising each other in interviews and appearances.

“Governor Paterson is one of New York State’s finest public servants with a lifetime of fighting for a stronger and more progressive State, and there is no one better prepared to lead the State Democratic Party,” Cuomo added. “I am pleased to welcome him on board and look forward to working together with him to strengthen our State and our Party. I also want to take this opportunity to thank Keith Wright and Stephanie Miner for their service.”

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