After railing against corruption in the Capitol, New Yorkers are sending an Albany lawmaker to be the state's next attorney general and Eric Schneiderman says he's up to the job. NY1’s Grace Rauh filed the following report.
Even Eric Schneiderman called it an improbable journey. But the six-term state senator, with the backing of self-described progressive groups and organized labor, pulled off a comfortable win in the state attorney general's race.
His ties to Albany didn't get in the way.
“I am humbled and honored tonight, and really kind of amazed, to stand here before you as the next attorney general of the state of New York,” he said.
Schneiderman says he'll follow in governor-elect Andrew Cuomo's footsteps. However, there is one difference. In his victory speech, he credited an activist base for his election.
“This was a campaign of activists, and boy did we show what activists can do,” he said.
It's been a long, tough campaign slog for Schneiderman. He beat out four Democratic opponents in a crowded September primary. He then faced Republican Dan Donovan, the Staten Island district attorney, in the general election.
It was a race in which charges over abortion positions, plans to police Wall Street, and fighting public corruption loomed large.
“I am proud that I decided to run for attorney general of the State of New York. But mostly I am proud of you,” said Donovan in his concession speech.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg was an influential Donovan supporter. He warned that Schneiderman would push a social agenda. Donovan, meanwhile, tried to brand Schneiderman a left-wing radical.
Donovan tried to make the case that the A.G.'s office should be filled by a Republican – who could look over the shoulder of Democratic politicians and keep them in check. New Yorkers on Election Night sent a different message.
The victory may be that much sweeter for Schneiderman because it shows he was able to rise above the anti-Albany fervor. The win also comes in a year when Republicans are on the rise nationally.
“The conservatives did not sweep America in this race,” he said.
Schneiderman is already looking ahead to the job that awaits him. He says New Yorkers need an attorney general who will restore public confidence in Wall Street, and root out waste, fraud and corruption in government.