NEW YORK -- Steve Levy, a suburban politician whose opposition to illegal immigration has brought him national attention, said Sunday he was weighing a primary challenge to Gov. David Paterson.
Levy, the Suffolk County executive, said he had formed an exploratory committee, creating the potential for a three-way race to lead the Democratic Party's state ticket.
Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is widely considered to be weighing a run for governor, though he has not publicly announced his intention to run.
Levy said his exploratory committee was "to test the waters."
"But I've got a great deal of interest to take the skill set I've developed here in Suffolk County and apply them to the state at a time of potential fiscal collapse," he told The New York Times.
Levy said potential opponents would not factor into his decision on whether to run. He said he was looking to highlight his skills in managing Suffolk County to demonstrate his ability to handle state government.
Levy was elected as Suffolk County's executive in 2003 after serving in the state Assembly. He was elected to the Suffolk County Legislature in 1985.
Levy signed a law that required contractors doing business with the county to certify their employees are in the country legally. He also supported efforts to get day laborers off street corners and backed doing raids aimed at overcrowded houses where Latino workers live with their families.
He is co-founder of a national group called Mayors and Executives for Immigration Reform.
Levy has raised nearly $4 million for his possible campaign, according to the most recent campaign finance reports filed in July. Paterson has about $5 million. Cuomo has raised about $10 million.
Paterson's campaign did not immediately respond to an e-mailed request for comment on Sunday.
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