New York's Letitia James Ends Run for Governor

Instead, woman who brought down Andrew Cuomo hopes to remain state attorney general
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 29, 2021 1:26 PM CDT
Updated Dec 9, 2021 11:45 AM CST
Woman Who Brought Down Cuomo Going for His Old Job
New York State Attorney General Letitia James.   (AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey, File)

Update: Letitia James won't be running for governor after all. New York's attorney general said Thursday she plans to run for re-election to her current job instead, reports the AP. James, a Democrat, had been expected to be a strong challenger against Gov. Kathy Hochul, who replaced Andrew Cuomo when he resigned. “I have come to the conclusion that I must continue my work as attorney general,” James said in a statement. “There are a number of important investigations and cases that are underway, and I intend to finish the job.” (One investigation involves Donald Trump.) Our original story from Oct. 29 follows:

New York Attorney General Letitia James announced Friday that she is running for governor, a widely anticipated move from the woman who oversaw an investigation into allegations that former Gov. Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed numerous women, per the AP. James announced her candidacy on Twitter, saying, “I’m running for Governor of New York because I have the experience, vision, and courage to take on the powerful on behalf of all New Yorkers.” A campaign video cited the multiple lawsuits she filed against former President Trump's administration and an investigation into deaths in New York's nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

James, 62, is the first woman elected as New York's attorney general and the first Black person to serve in the role. She's expected to be a strong challenger against Gov. Kathy Hochul, who had been Cuomo’s lieutenant governor, for the Democratic nomination. Hochul, who is from the Buffalo area, entered office with a reputation as centrist who is working to bolster her ties to New York City, where James' political support is based. James was born and raised in Brooklyn and made her first run for City Council as a candidate of the liberal Working Families Party. Her path to the nomination will be to win over upstate Democrats who might be less progressive.

story continues below

Before her bombshell report was released, prompting Cuomo's resignation, James had been known nationally for her frequent legal tussles with Trump. Since she became attorney general in 2019, her office has investigated Trump's business affairs and sued the Republican's administration dozens of times over federal policies on immigration, the environment, and other matters. James made the announcement the day after a criminal complaint was filed against Cuomo in Albany, accusing the former governor of committing a misdemeanor sex crime of groping a woman in December 2020.

(More Letitia James stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.