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Republican Attorney General Candidate Aims to Grab Support in Staten Island

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While there has been some focus on the race between Governor Andrew Cuomo and Rob Astorino, another Republican is trying make traction in his statewide race to unseat a Democratic incumbent. John Cahill is challenging State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who is up for re-election this year, and he was on Staten Island earlier today to highlight an issue of great importance to many of its residents. NY1's Zack Fink filed the following report.

Republican John Cahill is looking to make some headway on Staten Island, the borough which has traditionally been most friendly to Republicans.

Joined by local leaders in front of a shuttered parochial school, Cahill chided Albany lawmakers for failing to approve the Education Tax Credit this year, which would have helped parents support private schools.

Cahill says Attorney General Eric Schneiderman should have been a stronger voice in favor of the program.

"Absolutely. You know, there have been attorneys general in the past that have been strong advocates for education because they understand that education is a constitutional right of our children. Eric Schneiderman was nowhere on this bill," he said.

Some of Schneiderman's critics say he's taken a low profile during his tenure.

"I think he has been invisible and he hasn't been advocating on issues such as crime and criminal justice and education, fighting for our kids. We need to have somebody who's out there that people know is serving as their lawyer, their advocate," Cahill said.

Despite the attack, Scheiderman declined to speak with us, but did conduct a fifteen minute radio interview Tuesday that focused exclusively on his recently filed lawsuit against Barclays Bank for it's use of so-called "dark pools," which favor institutional investors.

"The problem is dark pools, as you can see, are dark. You can't see what other transactions are going on," Schneiderman said on the radio.

Cahill recived the endorsement last week of former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Schneiderman has been critical of Cahill for seeking the office despite never trying a case.

In a statement, A spokesman for Scneiderman said, “The record speaks for itself. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has put dozens of drug traffickers behind bars and fought for increased funding for our schools."

There is a joke in political circles that the initials "A-G" for Attorney General actually stand for "aspiring governor." There is a certain amount of truth in that. Two of the last three Attorneys General became governors, Eliot Spitzer and Andrew Cuomo.

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