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Collins ends his flirtation with governor's race

Chris Collins faced facts Tuesday and withdrew from his exploratory campaign for governor.

He cited the difficulty in raising money, which is true enough, and said his antiChrist and lap dance comments had nothing to do with his decision, which I find hard to swallow. The reality is that those gaffes cost him the support of potential backers and killed Collins' candidacy before he left the starter's block.

With the race over before it began, Collins will instead focus on the job he was elected to do just two years ago.

Reports Bob McCarthy:

Collins said he still faces a "big job" in Erie County and anticipates significant financial problems in the years ahead. Although he had been exploring a run for governor, he said, he now believes he needs to serve the remainder of his term and run for re-election in 2011.

To that end, he said he would keep in his campaign account the $600,000 in personal funds he recently loaned it, pointing to the re-election effort he plans to launch next year.

"The county has some speed bumps ahead, and I think I am the right one to guide the process ahead," he said. "I have no regrets."

Just a hunch, but I think Collins has at least two regrets - his antiChrist and lap dance comments.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth Benjamin of the New York Daily News offers this take on Collins' decision to not run.

Elsewhere on the campaign trail, Gov. David Paterson has landed the best zinger so far, calling out Andrew Cuomo with a quip about the coy attorney general being enrolled in a "candidate protection plan."

"I don't think anyone should be floating that they're going to be a candidate and then go into the candidate protection program where you can't ask them any questions," the governor said.

"This, to me, is not commensurate with anyone that thinks they're going to bring reform and transparency and openness to government in Albany," he said.

As Howard Cosell used to say, the guv is "telling it like it is."

Oh, what I wouldn't do for a video clip of Humble Howard repeating that line. Help me here, people.

Update: Robert Harding, online producer with the Auburn Citizen, came through with this clip. Howard delivers the line about 4:15 in. Thanks.



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Politics | State government
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