In 2002, Paterson was elected Minority Leader of the New York State Senate, the first non-white legislative leader in New York's history who made history again by being elected New York's first African-American Lieutenant Governor. This, from a family lineage of firsts, his father, Basil Paterson, was the first African-American to be New York's secretary of State.
The New York's state Assembly is controlled by Democrats, its Senate by Republicans. The control of New York’s leadership is so tight, with one seat in favor of the republicans in the Senate, that any shift in position could change everything.
The state's lawmaking process is commonly referred to as "three men in a room” because of the method our leaders have taken during the budget process for decades. Here is a chance for a new approach. Can Paterson take his reputation as the “Great Compromiser” and bring the warring parties together before New York’s struggling economy implodes?
Paterson has good relations with legislators which will be sorely needed after this scandal. He has an easy manner that is disarming to both friends and political foes. I hope Paterson is the silver lining around this dark cloud in Albany.