Andrew Cuomo, head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, is likely to leave by the end of the year to lead Vice President Gore's expected presidential campaign, according to a report Thursday by Mortgage Marketplace, an American Banker newsletter.

Citing sources on Capitol Hill, the report said the move is a "a near certainty" because of the friendship between the two men. It cautioned, however, that Mr. Cuomo might choose instead to run for the Senate should Sen. Patrick Moynihan, D-N.Y., opt against running for a fifth term.

A spokesman for Mr. Gore refused to confirm or deny the report, the newsletter said. A HUD spokesman said that Mr. Cuomo intends to stay at the agency through 2000, and that "his only political ambition right now is to help his pal Vice President Al Gore into the White House in 2001."

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