Letitia James, the attorney general of New York whose sexual harassment investigation led to the resignation of former Gov. Andrew Cuomo, announced a run for governor Friday, mounting a formidable primary challenge to Kathy Hochul, the state’s first female governor.
James could become the state’s first Black governor and the nation’s first Black female governor.
“New Yorkers need a governor who isn’t afraid to stand up to powerful interests on behalf of the vulnerable," James said.
Two other Brooklyn Democrats, New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, are also interested in the job, along with Long Island Democratic congressman Tom Suozzi.
In August, James released a report that found Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women, including a state trooper on his security detail. Cuomo attacked the report as politically motivated.
New York State Republican Committee Chairman Nick Langworthy called James a "radical left ideologue" who “turned a blind eye to Cuomo’s unethical behavior and corruption … when it suited her needs” in a statement Friday.
As attorney general, James has bolstered her profile with a lawsuit against the National Rifle Association. Her office is also investigating whether former President Donald Trump manipulated the value of some of his real estate holdings for tax and insurance purposes.
"I've sued the Trump administration 76 times," James mentioned in her announcement video. "But who's counting?"
She previously served in the New York City council and as the city’s public advocate.