By Nicole Bode
DNAinfo Associate Editor
MANHATTAN — Attorney General Andrew Cuomo doesn’t have enough support from the black community to take on the governor, according to David Paterson's dad at least.
Former secretary-of-state for New York Basil Paterson made the claims in an interview on NY1 that Cuomo would alienate black voters and leaders alike if he throws his hat into the gubernatorial ring against his son, New York’s first African-American governor.
Cuomo has not yet officially announced whether he will run.
Cuomo first eroded his support among African Americans in 2002, when he took on then-state Comptroller Carl McCall, the elder Paterson said during a roundtable discussion on NY1 Monday.
“When Andrew came back from Washington, having never run for public office and challenged a highly qualified black man for governor, H. Carl McCall … it left a sour taste,” Basil Paterson said, according to excerpts of the interview published in the New York Post.
Paterson called the race issue a “problem everybody whispers about.”
The comments come on the heels of the first election in city history in which the proportion of white voters dropped below 50 percent, according to the New York Times.
Of the voters who turned out for the general election last month, only 46 percent identified themselves as white, while 51 percent identified themselves as minorities, the Times reported.
Of those, 23 percent of voters identified themselves as black, 21 percent identified as Hispanic and 7 percent identified themselves as Asian, according to the exit polls by Edison Media Research.