A New York native, David Paterson earned degrees from Columbia University and Hofstra Law School and has dedicated most of his life to public service. In 1985, Paterson joined the campaign staff for David Dinkins’ third campaign for Borough President of Manhattan. That same year, Paterson was elected to the New York State Senate as the youngest state senator in Albany, serving on the State Senate until 2006. In 2002, Paterson was elected the first Black New York State Senate Minority leader. In 2006, Paterson stepped down from the Senate to run as the first Black lieutenant governor of New York, which he won by a landslide with candidate Eliot Spitzer. In 2008, Spitzer resigned from the position of governor, making Paterson New York's first Black governor and the first blind person to serve a term as governor in U.S. history. As governor, Paterson reduced New York’s budget deficit by $40 billion and increased the welfare allowance for needy individuals for the first time in 20 years. Paterson also introduced legislation that would later end discrimination against same-sex couples in New York. After leaving office, Paterson hosted a radio show for New York station WOR from 2011 to 2012. He also taught government as an adjunct professor at New York University. In 2016, Paterson joined Stifel, Nicholaus & Company as a director of investment.

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