Letitia James

Anthony Behar/Sipa USA

Letitia James Wins 4-Way Race For Democratic New York Attorney General Nomination

September 13, 2018 - 10:44 pm
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- Letitia James won the Democratic nomination for New York state attorney general in a four-way race Thursday night.

James was up against Fordham law professor Zephyr Teachout, New York City Public Advocate Letitia James, Lower Hudson Valley U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney and former Hillary Clinton and Gov. Andrew Cuomo adviser Leecia Eve.

With 72 percent of the precincts reporting, James had about 43 percent of the vote, compared with 30 percent for Teachout, 24 percent for Maloney, and 3 percent for Eve.

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James ran with support from labor unions, the state Democratic Party, and Gov. Cuomo. But Teachout, who ran against Cuomo four years ago, ran on a slate with Cuomo challenger Cynthia Nixon and as an insurgent running from the left.

James, like opponents, ran with a focus on taking on President Donald Trump at the state level.

“The investigations of President Trump because of where Trump Inc. is located in New York, a lot of these investigations may turn into New York state investigations – which I might add, Donald Trump is not able to exercise a pardon over. So the person who ends up attorney general in New York for the next for years may have indeed in the immediate future a national platform for the investigations,” said Dr. Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion.

The state Attorney General’s office can also be a launch pad for running for governor, as it was with Gov. Cuomo and before that with Eliot Spitzer, Miringoff noted.

If she wins the general election, James will be the first black woman to hold the position

On the Republican side, Nancy Sliwa was well ahead with 53 percent of the vote as of 10:40 p.m.

The current attorney general, Barbara Underwood, was appointed in May when Eric Schneiderman resigned after he was accused of physically abusing women. Underwood declined to run for election.