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      6 months before election, Cuomo needs a new Lt. Governor

      Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy

      Governor Andrew Cuomo's second in command won't be in that job after the end of this year. Lt. Governor Robert Duffy has formally told Cuomo he won't seek reelection.

      Duffy, 59, is the former Mayor of Rochester. The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle Newspaper reports Duffy said this week he was not being forced out and would serve out his term, which runs through year's end.

      The paper reports Duffy is believed to want to stay closer to Rochester. Last year he bought a lakefront home in the Finger Lakes.

      Cuomo is running for a second term as New York Governor. Republican Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino is challenging him.

      The governor issued a statement Thursday morning, saying "Over the course of his distinguished career, Robert Duffy has shown an unparalleled commitment to improving the lives of those around him. A longtime police officer, he climbed through the ranks to become Chief of Police for the City of Rochester and worked tirelessly to keep communities in his hometown safe. After being elected to serve as the Mayor of Rochester, he continued to fight crime while also taking steps to improve the City's education system. And over the past few years as Lieutenant Governor, Bob has carried the mantle of progress and opportunity to every corner of this state. From bringing new focus to the Upstate economy to leading the Regional Economic Development Councils, few people have traveled more miles, heard from more New Yorkers, or had a greater impact on this State than Bob Duffy. My administration and all of New York owes him a tremendous debt of gratitude."

      "Bob has not just been a great partner in governing our state - he has also been a true friend. I have said repeatedly that asking Bob to be New York's Lieutenant Governor was the first and best decision I made since running for Governor, and that statement remains true today. I am deeply grateful for his service and friendship and I look forward to working together in the years ahead. I wish him and his family all the best."

      The announcement comes two weeks before Democrats gather on Long Island to nominate candidates for the fall elections.

      The Associated Press reports Cuomo is widely expected to tap a running mate from western New York or Long Island. Potential candidates include Joanie Mahoney, the Republican Onondaga County Executive. Other possible candidates are Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, former Congresswoman Kathy Hochul of Buffalo, and Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone.

      A copy of Duffy's letter notifying Cuomo of his decision not to seek reelection can be found here .