ALBANY - Former Rep. Rick Lazio announced today he will no longer be in the race to be New York's next governor.

Lazio said in his announcement, ?While my heart beckons me forward- my head tells me that my continued presence on the Conservative line would simply lead to the election of Andrew Cuomo and the continuation of an entrenched political machine. I do not want to be responsible for that and that is unacceptable?He also said "I believe strongly that Andrew Cuomo cannot bring change, but I remain unconvinced that Carl Paladino will bring the improvement that New York needs."Told of Lazio's decision, Paladino said, "We're happyabout that. I think Rick Lazio and I ran a primary that was abovethe garbage and the trash. We addressed issues."

AP wire services contributed to this report