Embattled New York Governor David Paterson has decided to withdraw from the race for governor and will not seek election this year, local media reported on Friday.
The Democratic governor, implicated in newly raised questions of impropriety involving a top aide, has been under growing pressure to pull out of the race.
His withdrawal, reported by the New York Daily News and the New York Post, focuses political attention on state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who has been widely expected to challenge Paterson for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.
Paterson was expected to make an announcement later on Friday morning, the Post reported.
News of Paterson's withdrawal comes a day after a senior official in his cabinet who supervises police resigned in the wake of a newspaper report that the governor and police officers may have improperly intervened in assault allegations against another Paterson aide.
The governor and state police contacted a woman who was seeking a protective order against Paterson aide David Johnson, whom she said assaulted her, Denise O'Donnell, deputy secretary for Public Safety, said in her resignation statement.
According to The New York Times, the unidentified woman accused state police of harassing her to drop her case. Paterson telephoned her before a court hearing and, afterward, she failed to appear in court and her case was dismissed, the Times said.
Cuomo's office is investigating the case, which added to calls for Paterson to withdraw from the election contest.
Paterson was elected lieutenant governor and ascended to the top post two years ago when former Gov. Eliot Spitzer resigned amid a prostitution scandal.
(Reporting by Daniel Trotta and Ellen Wulfhorst; Editing by Sandra Maler)