Former Gov. Paterson Eyeing House Run

NEW YORK -

David Paterson, an accidental governor who ascended to the position of New York State’s top executive after his predecessor suddenly resigned, said Tuesday he may have the juice for a second political career.

“I love public service. I love the people who do it,” Paterson, also a Democrat, told Fred Dicker on his radio show. “I would listen to people.”

Paterson, who was lieutenant governor when Elliot Spitzer resigned in 2007, is considering a bid for Rep. Charlie Rangel’s seat in Harlem and the Bronx — but only if the Democrat who was censured by his colleagues in 2010 steps down next year.

“Nobody seems willing to get up and take on any issue unless they’re in the majority,” Paterson said, explaining why he is considering wading back into the political sphere. “And when that happens, it means that they’re deal-makers rather than leaders. And that compromise that people make, just that little compromise, inevitably leads to corruption. Every time.”

Paterson, the state’s first African American governor, was also the second legally blind head of state. But he predicted that the 82-year-old congressman will run again in 2014.

“I wake up in the morning … it’s really a great feeling,” he said. “I’d be 60 years old at the time I took the seat. … So I can almost put it to bed and say no. But then I watch the political landscape these days, and I just feel that people are not talking about some of the issues that are really affecting people.”

Rangel has conducted very little fundraising, according to the latest disclosure forms released last week.

Other potential candidates include his 2010 challenger, state Sen. Adriano Espaillat, former assemblyman Adam Clayton Powell IV, and Assemblyman Keith Wright.