Although she came up short in 2018, Zephyr Teachout is running again for attorney general, and this time she thinks her chances are much better.
“Look, we are in a really new moment in New York politics, and I have been ahead of the curve on corruption in New York, on climate, on corporate use of a particular anti-trust,” Teachout said. “And I am really excited about this race because we are in this new moment.”
Teachout lost out to Letitia James the last time, garnering 31% of the vote in the primary. Prior to that, in 2014, she ran for governor against Andrew Cuomo and finished with roughly 34% of the vote, also in the Democratic Primary that year.
Running in the left lane, Teachout would appear to have a core group of voters, but it’s unclear if that will be enough to win. So far she faces a challenge from State Senator Shelley Mayer of Westchester, who spoke last week with Susan Arbetter of Spectrum News in Albany.
“I think the attorney general has incredible authority and power to make change in ordinary people’s lives,” Mayer said. “Just to remember back for older people, Bib Abrams hallmark thing was the used car lemon law, changing the way people bought used cars.”
Another declared candidate is Queens Assembly member Clyde Vanel.
“This is going to be a tough race. This is going to be a difficult race. And there are going to be a lot of people that get in,” Vanel said. “But with our message, I believe that most New Yorkers will support Clyde Vanel for New York State Attorney General.”
Then there are candidates who are considering jumping in, like Deputy State Senate Majority Leader Michael Gianaris of Queens, who is sitting on $3 million from the last time he ran.
Also considering runs are Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, who could end up being the only Latino in the race, and Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.
Teachout, who also previously ran for Congress and lost, sees the attorney general’s office as a great equalizer.
“The attorney general’s office is the largest public interest law firm in the country. And We have a real opportunity and responsibility to hold power accountable and get things done for people,” Teachout said.
Much like the governor’s race, the attorney general’s race got underway early due to the calendar. The Democratic Primary is in June, meaning candidates need to get a jump on fundraising and building the infrastructure for a statewide campaign.