New York Attorney General Letitia James runs for governor

New York State Attorney General Letitia James speaks during a press conference to announce criminal justice reform in New York City, May 21, 2021.

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

New York Attorney General Letitia James announced Friday that she is running for governor in 2022.

James’s candidacy, which was expected, began a primary contest against Gov. Cathy Hochhol, another Democrat, who intends to seek election on her own after taking office following the resignation of former Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Cuomo resigned two months ago after James released the findings of an investigation that concluded he sexually harassed nearly a dozen women, including current and former employees.

Cuomo was charged Thursday with a misdemeanor and sexual offense complaint alleging that he forcibly touched a woman on December 7 at the governor’s executive mansion in Albany.

If James, 63, a resident of Brooklyn, is elected, he will be the first black woman to hold the office of a US state governor. She had served less than one full term as a prosecutor, and is the state’s top attorney, after winning the election in 2018.

She was previously the first woman of color to win citywide elective office in New York City, as a public defender.

As attorney general, James also oversaw an investigation into the Trump Organization, the company owned and operated by former President Donald Trump and his two adult sons Donald Trump Jr and Eric Trump.

“As I’ve been traveling around New York State, I’ve seen so many working families struggling to make ends meet, and the status quo is clearly not going to do the trick,” James said in her announcement.

“New Yorkers need a ruler who is not afraid to stand up to strong interests on behalf of the weak,” James said.

James was a former attorney general, and represented Brooklyn’s 35th District in New York City Council for 10 years, before winning the race for public defense.

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