New York Attorney General Race Takes Shape | WAMC

New York Attorney General Race Takes Shape

May 25, 2018

Democrats and Republicans in New York have picked their choices to fill the open seat for state attorney general, following the resignation of Eric Schneiderman over a domestic violence scandal.

Democrats chose New York City Public Advocate Letitia James, who says she’ll continue Schneiderman’s work  pursuing cases to protect immigrants, consumer rights,  and women’s rights against threats by the federal government.

“The Attorney General stands at the vanguard as a firewall of protection and not a wall of exclusion,” James said in her speech. “Because we are confronting nothing short of the biggest challenge to our democracy in the history of this country.”

James quickly shored up enough support to win the nomination, but she’s likely to face a primary challenge from two other female candidates, Leecia Eve, a former counsel to Governor Cuomo, and Zephyr Teachout, the 2014 Democratic primary challenger to Cuomo.

If elected, James would be the first African-American and female Attorney General of New York.

Republicans chose Keith Wofford, a New York City Attorney in private practice who grew up in Buffalo. Wofford is also African American. He told delegates he oversees a staff of 320 lawyers, and specializes in obtaining money owed to creditors, including major banks, from mortgage companies and utilities.

He says those skills would help him be an effective AG. And he implicitly criticized former Attorney General Schneiderman’s multiple lawsuits against the Trump Administration.  

“We need an attorney general who knows how to recover the billions of dollars of taxpayer money that have been stolen through waste, fraud and abuse by our elected officials in Albany,” Wofford said. “ We need an attorney general who knows the difference between a good lawsuit and a lousy one.”

Wofford says another top priority would be fighting corruption in Albany, which he says is rampant.

Schneiderman, who resigned May 8, has been accused of physically abusing multiple women that he dated. He has denied the allegations.