A little less than a year ago, the race for state attorney general was a wide-open, crowded contest with more than a half-dozen announced candidates.
Then, sitting Attorney General Letitia James announced she would seek re-election, abandoning a run for governor.
Now, she is now the overwhelming favorite to win a second term in office against Republican Michael Henry. During her first term, James has made national headlines going after high-profile targets like Facebook, Google and the National Rifle Association.
What You Need To Know
- State Attorney General Letitia James is facing Republican Michael Henry in next month’s general election
- James has made national headlines going after high-profile targets like Facebook, Google, the National Rifle Association and former President Donald Trump
- James launched a run for governor last October but dropped out less than six weeks later, announcing she would seek re-election instead
- Several Democrats who had announced plans to run for her seat dropped out and endorsed her, clearing the field in the June primary
Then last month, she set her sights on the biggest fish of all: former President Donald Trump. In a civil lawsuit, James accused Trump of years of financial fraud.
“Claiming you have money that you do not have does not amount to the art of the deal. It’s the art of the steal,” she quipped at a news conference last month announcing the lawsuit.
If her lawsuit succeeds, it wouldn’t be the first powerful politician James has taken down. Last year, her report corroborating sexual harassment allegations against then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo led to his resignation.
James then sought to step into the void, launching her own run for governor last October. But the campaign never took off, and she dropped out less than six weeks later, announcing she would instead seek another term in her current post.
Several Democrats who had announced plans to run for her seat almost immediately bowed out and endorsed her, paving the way for a largely frictionless re-election campaign.
James was elected attorney general in 2018 following the resignation of Eric Schneiderman, becoming the first Black woman elected to statewide office.
It was a long, steady rise through the ranks of New York politics. She was elected to the New York City Council in 2003 and, 10 years later, was elected the city’s public advocate.
James appears secure in her current role, having won support from labor unions, advocacy groups and Democrats across the board — even those she once sought to challenge.
“I look forward to having her on the ticket as we head into the November election together,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said last year after James dropped out of the governor’s race.
Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 8.