ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Republican Carl Paladino’s hometown Buffalo News on Sunday endorsed his rival in the New York governor’s race, declaring “there is no choice” but Andrew Cuomo.

The endorsement continues a sweep so far for the Manhattan Democrat. Cuomo’s endorsement include The New York Times, New York’s Daily News, the New York Post, Newsday, and the upstate newspapers in Rochester, Poughkeepsie, Kingston and Glens Falls.

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“While it has become trendy to sneer at ‘career politicians,”‘ Sunday’s Buffalo News editorial stated, “the fact is that a good one knows his stuff: How to work the levers of power to best advantage; who the players are; where the bodies are buried. Cuomo knows all that and he has laid out an approach for taking the state back from the special interests and the lawmakers they have bought.”

The editorial states that although Cuomo is “a powerful political insider,” the newspaper believes the son of former Gov. Mario Cuomo “will lead.”

“If he accomplishes only half of what he says he wants — detailed in a series of (policy) books he has released — he will have rendered a historic service to the state,” the newspaper said.

The Buffalo News also warned, however, that Cuomo needs to stave off his special interest supporters from whom he “has accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars … and, while we recognize that money is the lifeblood of election politics, it is also the grease that has crippled a once proud state.”

Paladino spokesman Michael Caputo said Sunday that the News’ endorsement “has always been the kiss of death in Western New York … now Carl’s supporters here will come out even stronger.”

Recent polls have shown Cuomo with a growing double-digit-percentage lead ahead of the election Nov. 2.

Paladino never accepted an opportunity to make his case to the editorial board, although Cuomo did.

Instead, Paladino over the weekend tried to highlight an article from another newspaper’s news section. A Wall Street Journal article cited records that criticize Cuomo’s governance as federal housing secretary under President Bill Clinton.

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“Federal auditors say Mr. Cuomo oversaw a ‘poorly planned’ overhaul of personnel that bulked up HUD’s public outreach but undermined the agency’s enforcement efforts,” the article stated.

The newspaper quoted a former Housing and Urban Development official as saying the consequences of Cuomo’s concept “were pretty near disastrous.”

There was no immediate comment from Cuomo, who has pointed to his four years at HUD as proof of his executive skills.

“Cuomo thinks he can lie about his miserable stewardship of HUD and the voters will buy it,” Paladino’s spokesman said Sunday. “Cuomo really messed the bed at HUD and lit the fuse on the sub-prime mortgage meltdown that cost taxpayers trillions.”

Whether Cuomo and the Clinton administration, and the Republican Bush administration before them, hold some of the blame for the mortgage defaults that led to a credit crunch and contributed to the recession is disputed.

While at HUD, Cuomo did open up more government subsidized loans to the working poor, but that’s never conclusively been shown to be the trigger of loan defaults exacerbated by predatory lending practices.

As for Paladino, the News stated the millionaire developer “burned his own campaign to cinders.”

It stated that sexist and racist e-mails Paladino once forwarded to friends and critical comments he made about gays, while promising to protect by enforcing the law, “are not trifles; they are threshold tests. Paladino flunked.”

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