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Blunders and press blamed for Paladino loss

A top aide says Erie County Republican Carl Paladino had a narrow but clear path to victory over Democrat Andrew Cuomo in the New York governor’s race but a series of self-inflicted wounds drove his tea-party fueled quest off the rails.

The observations from Paladino strategist Michael Caputo were among those shared at a campaign post-mortem Wednesday. A panel of aides from the state’s leading gubernatorial candidates, including Cuomo and Republican Rick Lazio, described their experiences.

Caputo blames what he called unfair press coverage for many of Paladino’s problems. But he acknowledges Paladino made several blunders like sending racist e-mails to friends. Caputo calls the e-mails “a bullet to the head.”