Conservative Party candidate Rick Lazio says he's withdrawing from the race for New York's governor, a decision that helps the tea party Republican who beat Lazio in the GOP primary.
Lazio tells The Associated Press that he wants to continue to influence the race and bring a workable job-creation program into a contest he says has devolved into name-calling between Republican Carl Paladino and Democrat Andrew Cuomo.
Polls show the maverick Paladino rising against the once seemingly unassailable Cuomo. The latest survey shows Lazio taking 8 percent of voters, most of whom would likely go to Paladino and cut into Cuomo's lead.
No Republican in New York has won statewide office since 1974 without Conservative Party support.