ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Kristen Cox says it is an encouraging sign of how much public perceptions have changed that she and David Paterson, both legally blind, are running for lieutenant governor in Maryland and New York this year.
"I don't think a few decades ago this would even have been entertained in a serious way," Cox said Friday, one day after Republican Gov. Robert Ehrlich announced she would be his running mate.
Paterson, the Democratic minority leader in the New York Senate, is the choice of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Eliot Spitzer and has the support of the state's top Democrats. In New York, unlike Maryland, candidates for governor and lieutenant governor run separately.
Advocates for people with disabilities are encouraged that two blind people are leading candidates for lieutenant governor in the same year.
"This can only be positive," said Mark Richert, director of public policy for the American Foundation for the Blind.
"Clearly, just like anybody else who represents an ethnic minority, if we succeed people will say 'That's great. That's an example of blind people being able to do anything,'" Richert said.