New York Attorney General Letitia James announced Friday that she is running for New York governor.
“New Yorkers need a governor who isn’t afraid to stand up to powerful interests on behalf of the vulnerable. Throughout my career, I’ve taken on big forces and New Yorkers know I will never back down when it comes to fighting for them,” James, 63, said in a statement announcing her run.
“Today, I am proud to announce my candidacy for governor of New York so we can bring transformational change that uplifts all New Yorkers,” she added.
In a video accompanying her announcement, the former New York City Council member from Brooklyn touted that she has “sued the Trump administration seventy-six times, but who’s counting?”
“I’ve held accountable those who mistreat and harass women in the workplace, no matter how powerful the offenders,” she said.
James oversaw the investigation into former Governor Andrew Cuomo over sexual harassment claims against him that eventually led to his resignation in August.
Cuomo allegedly sexually harassed at least 11 women, an investigation by James’ office found. The report on the investigation was released in early August. According to the report, Cuomo violated federal and state laws by sexually harassing current and former New York state employees, as well as several women outside of state government, including members of the public.
The day before James announced her gubernatorial campaign, prosecutors charged the former governor with forcible touching, a misdemeanor that is punishable by up to one year in prison. The incident, in which Cuomo is accused of groping a former aide at the Executive Mansion in Albany, was detailed in James’ report. Cuomo is due to appear in court on November 17.
James also investigated nursing home deaths in New York. Cuomo was lambasted for his disastrous policies around nursing homes during the pandemic, and the state logged more than 8,500 COVID-19 deaths among residents of those facilities. James’ investigation found that the state may have undercounted nursing home deaths from COVID by as much as 50%. In February, a Cuomo aide admitted to covering up the actual nursing home death toll in New York in order to hide the data from federal authorities.
James’ run sets up what is expected to be a fierce Democratic primary battle with current Governor Kathy Hochul, Cuomo’s former lieutenant governor, who assumed office when he resigned. Hochul is the first female governor of New York.
This week, the state attorney general has been informing state labor union leaders and other important political players in Democratic circles about her intention to run, The New York Times reported.
“Since she was first elected as a Working Families Party candidate nearly 20 years ago, Tish has been a courageous fighter for everyday New Yorkers,” said Sochie Nnaemeka, the state director of the New York Working Families Party.
“We expect that Tish will campaign with a clear progressive vision for New York,” she added.
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