New York Attorney General Letitia James will be running for governor according to sources close to her office. She is expected to announce her bid for the November 2022 election later this week. In 2018, James became both the first woman and Black person elected to serve as the state’s attorney general.
The Associated Press reports that the three sources they spoke to were not authorized to speak publicly, but senior adviser to her campaign, Kimberly Peeler-Allen issued a statement saying, “Attorney General Letitia James has made a decision regarding the governor’s race. She will be announcing it in the coming days.”
Spectrum News NY1 reports that Peeler-Allen is a recent high profile hire for James in the past few weeks, who has worked as party pollster with success in electing female politicians.
Rumors about James’ run have been circulating for months, especially after her office released a damning report on the sexual harassment claims levied against former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo over the summer. James’ office was able to substantiate the stories of 11 women and Cuomo resigned in August to avoid an inevitable impeachment battle.
This report wasn’t the first high-profile move James has made during her tenure. According to AP, her office has also investigated Trump’s business affairs and sued his administration numerous times over federal policies. James has also focused on police reform in her state and has sued the leaders of the National Rifle Association for financial mismanagement.
Once in the race for governor, James will be running against Kathy Hochul, who replaced Cuomo after his resignation on Aug. 24. Hochul announced her plans to run in early August before taking over for Cuomo.
Here’s some of the other rivals James will be contending with for the highest seat in the state, from AP:
New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio have both said they are considering a run. Two other potential Democratic candidates come from Long Island: Suffolk County executive Steve Bellone and U.S. Rep. Thomas Suozzi, who lives in Nassau County.
Cuomo might also be a factor in the race. After leaving office, he has dug into his campaign funds to pay the salaries of spokespeople and lawyers who have spent months blasting James’ integrity on television and on social media.
Republican candidates include U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin, a Trump-aligned congressman from Long Island; Andrew Giuliani, the son of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani; and former Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, who lost to Cuomo in 2014.
Before becoming attorney general, James was no stranger to politics. AP notes that she was previously elected as New York City’s public advocate and a City Council member before working as an assistant state attorney general.
It also seems James already made moves ahead of the June 2022 primary, by not only hiring Peeler-Allen but also Celinda Lake. Lake, also hired for James’ campaign in recent weeks, is a Democratic strategist who worked as a pollster for our current President Joe Biden. We all see how the 2020 election worked out for Uncle Joe.
Update, 10/29/2 5 p.m.: And it’s official. Letitia James formally announced that she was running for New York governor.
“I’m running for governor of New York because I have the experience, vision, and courage to take on the powerful on behalf of all New Yorkers,” James wrote in a tweet that featured her announcement video, according to the New York Times.
More from NYT:
She begins the campaign as Gov. Kathy Hochul’s most formidable challenger, and her announcement triggers a start to what may be an extraordinarily competitive primary — a contest set to be shaped by issues of ideology, race and region in a state still battling its way out of the pandemic.
Her announcement comes at a volatile moment in state politics, a day after Mr. Cuomo was charged in a sexual misconduct complaint based on the account of one of the women whose claims of sexual harassment were detailed in the attorney general’s report.
That development, Ms. James said, validated “the findings in our report,” and to her allies it further cemented the case for her leadership. But it has also added fresh fuel to Mr. Cuomo’s suggestion that her investigation was politically motivated, a message that may resonate with some of the voters who still view him favorably.