New York Gov. David Paterson has officially ended his election bid.
At a news conference in New York City on Friday, Paterson cited an accumulation of distractions, but said he had never abused his office. He says he is "being realistic about politics" and says he never abused his office, "not now, not ever."
Paterson formally announced his campaign last weekend but had faced mounting calls to drop out of the race.
He has been unable to weather harsh criticism of his handling of a domestic violence case involving a trusted aide.
Paterson became governor in 2008, when former Gov. Eliot Spitzer resigned in a prostitution scandal.
His decision paves the way for popular Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to run for the Democratic nomination for governor.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)