Nightly News   |  February 26, 2010

Patterson drops out of NY governor race

Less than a week after announcing he was in it to win it, New York's accidental governor decided he would not become his state's elected governor after all. NBC's Mike Taibbi reports.

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>> thanks, as always.

>>> tonight we are reporting on another storm in new york , as well. this one is political. two big democrats in big trouble . the governor amid reports of inappropriate behavior and one of the most powerful members of congress. our report tonight from nbc's mike taibbi .

>> i'm running for governor this year.

>> reporter: less than a week after announcing he was in it to win it, new york 's accidental governor decided he what not try to become his state's elected governor after all.

>> today i am announcing i am ending my campaign for governor of the state of new york .

>> reporter: legally blind, david paterson got the job two years ago when a sex scandal drove eliot spitzer from office.

>> it's time to get back to the business of the state.

>> reporter: a day after his inauguration he admitted to his own infidelities.

>> i betrayed a commitment to my wife several years ago.

>> reporter: it was downhill from there, mini scandal after mini scandal, couple fating to today's announcement. published charges of the governor and his state police staff intervened directly in the case involving david johnson , an alleged assault by johnson of a former girlfriend. johnson's ex-girlfriend told the judge in the case the state police put constant pressure on her.

>> state troopers kept calling me and harassing me to drop the charges. i wouldn't.

>> reporter: the day after paterson himself called her she failed to show up in court and the case was dismissed. he said he never once abused his office.

>> there are 308 days left in my term. i will serve every one of them fighting for the people of the state of new york .

>> reporter: in the meantime, veteran new york congressman charles rangle says he has no plans to quit as head of the powerful house weighs and means committee despite being admonished by a house ethnics panel for wrongly accepting corporate-sponsored trips to the caribbean. he blamed procedural mistakes made by assistants.

>> members of congress should not be held responsible for what could be the wrong doing or mistakes or errors of staff.

>> reporter: rangle faces further inquiries. paterson says the criminal probe of his activities is continuing. two new york politicians on the receiving end of politics as contact sport. mike taibbi , nbc news, new york .

>> we learned today a high-profile