NEW YORK - New York Attorney General Letitia James has announced that she is going to run for governor. She released a video today to formally announce her candidacy.
James will enter the race as a formidable candidate for the Democratic nomination just months after issuing a damning report that drove Andrew Cuomo from office in a sexual harassment scandal.
James, 63, is the first woman elected as New York’s attorney general and the first Black person to serve in the role. With a power base in New York City, she is poised to be a top threat to Gov. Kathy Hochul, who had been Cuomo’s lieutenant governor.
Hochul, who is from the Buffalo area, entered office with a reputation as a political centrist but has been striving to win over New York City progressives, making numerous appearances in the city during her first months in office.
James, who was born and raised in Brooklyn and made her first run for City Council as a candidate of the liberal Working Families Party, would have the reverse task of winning over upstate Democrats who might be more conservative.
Before this year, James was best known nationally for her frequent legal tussles with former President Donald 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 also filed a lawsuit accusing the National Rifle Association’s leaders of financial mismanagement, the latest in a string of regulatory actions that have delighted liberals but drawn complaints from Republicans that she has unfairly used her office to target political opponents.
James began her career as a public defender at the Legal Aid Society. She is a graduate of Lehman College and Howard University School of Law, and she studied at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.