If Spitzer Steps Down, Lieutenant Governor Could Be Third Black Governor Since Reconstruction

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Albany, N.Y. (AP) Less than two years after he reluctantly ran for lieutenant governor, David Paterson could be in line to be only the third black governor since reconstruction, and the first in New York.

Attention turned to Paterson immediately after word surfaced today that governor Eliot Spitzer had been linked to a high-priced prostitution ring. In a brief appearance in front of reporters,
Spitzer issued a vague apology and did not mention resignation.

If Spitzer quits, Paterson automatically becomes governor and would complete Spitzer's term, which ends December 31, 2010.

There's no comment from Paterson, who's well respected by republicans and democrats.