Letitia James drops New York governor bid
New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) said Thursday she would suspend her campaign for governor to focus on her current position, just hours after reports that her office would seek to question former President Trump in a civil fraud investigation.
In a brief statement, James said she decided her office faced matters that demanded her attention.
“I have come to the conclusion that I must continue my work as attorney general. There are a number of important investigations and cases that are underway, and I intend to finish the job. I am running for re-election to complete the work New Yorkers elected me to do,” James said in a statement.
Her decision will reshuffle a race that her entrance had shaken up just over a month ago. It is a boost to Gov. Kathy Hochul (D), who ascended to the top job when then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) resigned earlier this year in the face of sexual harassment allegations.
The announcement came just two weeks after James hired Gabby Seay, a nationally recognized union organizer, to manage her campaign. James had rolled out a series of endorsements from prominent Democrats in and around New York City, where she once served as public advocate.
But James was hindered, too, by an increasingly busy workload in Albany, where her office is involved in both civil and criminal investigations into the Trump organization.
On Thursday, The New York Times reported that James’s office is seeking an interview with the former president as soon as Jan. 7 as part of the civil inquiry into the organizations business practices.
Polls show James would have begun with an uphill battle against Hochul, the first woman to serve as New York’s governor.
A Siena College Research Institute survey released this week showed Hochul leading the Democratic field with 36 percent, ahead of 18 percent who backed James, 10 percent who backed New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams (D) and 6 percent each who backed Rep. Thomas Suozzi (D) and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D).
The poll found both Hochul and James had roughly similar favorable ratings among Democratic voters — 57 percent of whom said they viewed the incumbent governor favorably, and 56 percent of whom viewed James in a positive light.
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