Breaking news from the Associated Press:
Conservative candidate Rick Lazio says he's withdrawing from the race for New York's governor, avoiding a potential three-way race that would have seriously hurt the chances of the tea party Republican who beat Lazio in the primary.
Lazio tells The Associated Press Monday 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% 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.