Letitia James becomes New York attorney general

Letitia James has assumed the office of New York's attorney general, becoming the first black woman to hold statewide office.

The 60-year-old Democrat took the oath of office in Albany just before midnight on Monday. On Tuesday evening, she took the oath again during an inauguration ceremony on Ellis Island.

James told the crowd that those who feel powerless are taking power back this year. James drew applause when she said she'll work in a legal system where even the most powerful in the country cannot use a loophole to evade justice. She also said she would protect abortion rights and LGBTQ rights and pursue criminal justice reform.

James replaced Barbara Underwood, 74, who was appointed in May when Eric Schneiderman resigned amid allegations he physically abused women. Underwood did not seek election.

James is a longtime New York City politician. She served in the City Council and most recently as the city's public advocate. She defeated Republican lawyer Keith Wofford in November.