Paterson Opposes ‘Caretaker’ For New York

ALBANY—David Paterson hasn't appeared publicly since Christmas, but took questions before continuing the New Year's Day tradition of receiving visitors

ALBANY—David Paterson hasn't appeared publicly since Christmas, but took questions before continuing the New Year's Day tradition of receiving visitors at the Executive Mansion.

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He repeated many of his standard lines about who he will appoint to the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Hillary Clinton, but did specify that he was opposed to appointing a "caretaker" to hold the seat until a special election in 2010.

"I'm opposed to that, because it will cause New York to lose seniority, and in the United States Senate the most effective senators have seniority," Paterson said. "So I'm hoping the person I select will be running."

He said he has not spoken with President-elect Obama about the seat since attending a conference of governors in December. Caroline Kennedy, who is openly non-campaigning for the seat, is close to Obama, a factor which may weigh on Paterson's choice as he seeks federal aid to fill a hole in the state budget. He also said he has not spoken to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, whose position on Kennedy as senator seems to have softened.

Paterson was also asked about the yet-unresolved leadership contest in the State Senate. He said he hasn't met with the renegades, but assumes there will be someone elected by January 7, when the chamber first convenes for the year.

Over three hundred people participated in an online lottery to see the governor. And Paterson's New Year's resolution?

"To try not to talk about the Senate."

Paterson Opposes ‘Caretaker’ For New York