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NYS Attorney General James campaigns in Albany as she bids for second term

New York State Attorney General Letitia James, who ended a brief run for governor last year, brought her re-election campaign to Albany Saturday.

James rallied at 1199SEIU headquarters, alongside some of the Democratic Party's top leaders, including state Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie.

"Tish and I have had a long, long relationship, and I take a lot of pride," said Heastie. "You know, I was one of the first people to endorse her when she ran for Public Advocate when I was the Bronx Democratic county chair. And of course, I was one of her first supporters when she said she wanted to be attorney general of the state of New York. And I couldn't think of a better person for us to be here to rally for. She's the groundbreaking, earth shaking, Trump bustin' [applause, cheers] We need her to be there for four more years."

Heastie was just out from marathon state budget negotiations. "And she has a tough job, you know, taking on, you know, a former president, United States who thinks the world should be the way he believes it should be, no rules," said Heastie. "But Tish is fearless. She's dedicated, and so many words we can use to describe her, as she is our champion, and our sister and I'm happy to be here, although I have very little energy left, but I thought it was important for me to be here."

Other speakers included State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins along with several downstate elected officials and state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.

"She is a very caring person. She has a very big heart. She is a person of deep faith," DiNapoli said. "That's what keeps her going when they start throwing bows and arrows and rocks at her and criticizing her for some of the things that she does. When you take on powerful interests of powerful people. Some folks don't like that. But Tish always stays true to what's in her heart and to what her values are. And that's why in this very important role of the Attorney General, she truly is the people's lawyer. She is fighting each and every day for every man, woman and child in this great state of New York."

Speakers praised James' accomplishments including her investigations into the violation of human trafficking laws on behalf of Filipino nurses at Albany Medical Center and her investigations into former President Trump and former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

James told rallygoers she is running because she believes in equal opportunity, worker's rights, justice and the U.S. Constitution. "I'm running because they want to turn back the clock on the progress of women in this country. I'm running because I believe in immigrants. I'm running because I believe that diversity is our strength. I'm running because I believe that our values right now are being questioned, I'm running because there are so many individuals who would like to put wedge issues between us and separate us. And I'm running because I don't believe in walls, I believe in all of you," said James.

James has no primary opponent. New York City attorney Michael Henry was endorsed by the state Republican Committee at its convention.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.