Out of Spitzer's Ashes, a New Day

More and more, political leadership in America looks like all of America.

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Like all New Yorkers, I am deeply saddened by this week's events. But out of the ashes of this firestorm comes renewed hope.

When David Paterson is sworn in next Monday, he will become the first African-American governor in New York State's history. His ascension to the office marks the latest in a growing and hopeful trend. Across the nation, people are willing to support their leaders based on their qualifications rather than their gender or race.

That open-minded spirit led me to win two terms as State Comptroller and my party's nomination as its candidate for Governor. It was the reason for the historic election of Governor Deval Patrick in Massachusetts and David Paterson's election as our lieutenant governor. And that same openness has led to a presidential primary where both remaining Democratic candidates will make history if elected.

More and more, political leadership in America looks like all of America.

David Paterson is exactly the Governor New York State needs.

If I know David Paterson, he'll listen to all New Yorkers, and reach across party lines to create partnerships for progress. He'll fight for good schools, more and better jobs, a cost effective health care system. He'll stand up for every New Yorker, and work hard to build new and better opportunities for all people – a future where all New Yorkers have a voice, a seat at the table and the tools to succeed.

If I know Governor David Paterson, he'll be a welcome voice for change, building trust and goodwill with allies and opponents alike.

During my run for governor, I was asked frequently by reporters if I was running to make history as New York's first African-American Governor. My answer was simple: I want to change New York's future, not the history books.

I am certain that Governor Paterson will make history -- as one of the finest governors New York State has ever had.

H. Carl McCall is a former Comptroller of New York State and was the Democratic candidate in the 2002 election for state governor.