Incumbent: Gov. David Paterson (D) is retiring
Republican: Businessman Carl Paladino
Democrat: State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo
2008 Presidential Result: Obama 63%; McCain 37%
55+ Population (2009 estimate): 25.1 percent
Overview: Andrew Cuomo, the son of former Gov. Mario Cuomo, jumped at the chance to run for governor after David Paterson was overwhelmed by a staggering budget deficit, a dysfunctional state legislature and his bungling of the appointment of a successor to former Sen. Hillary Clinton. As attorney general, Cuomo aggressively pursued Wall Street financial shenanigans before the 2008-09 financial collapse and is an early favorite for the statehouse. But his Republican challenger, Carl Paladino, is a wealthy and conservative businessman with Tea Party support who upset the Republican organization's candidate, Rick Lazio, in a summer primary.
50+ Facts: Check the latest economic statistics and details on the state budget deficit.
Fun Fact: Cuomo dates Food Channel star Sandra Lee.
'Wild card' Issue: Former Gov. Mario Cuomo was not popular when he left office in 1995 after his 12-year tenure. Will the residue of that bitterness upend Andrew Cuomo's carefully laid election plan?
Introduction: Governors' Races Hold High Stakes for the Future