A week ago, the Democratic field in the primary for state attorney general was expected to only grow. Today, it's completely fizzled out.
The decision by incumbent Letitia James to abruptly end her campaign for governor and run for re-election instead led her potential successors in the last several days to pull the plug on their own bids and endorse her.
On Monday, Assemblyman Cylde Vanel dropped out of the race. Hours later, so did former banking and insurance regulator Maria Vullo.
"After I launched my campaign, Letitia James announced that she is seeking re-election as Attorney General. Tish has been a tireless leader for New York as our Attorney General, including in the fight for reproductive rights," Vullo said in a statement released by her campaign. "I greatly admire the work Tish has done as Attorney General and she has my full and unwavering support for her re-election. I am therefore suspending my campaign immediately. I will continue to work fearlessly in the fight for equality and justice, in whatever comes next.”
Zephyr Teachout ended her campaign over the weekend, and state Sen. Shelley Mayer dropped out last week. State Sen. Michael Gianaris and Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez are not expected to run.
Challenging James, the first Black woman to hold the attorney general's office, in a party primary would be a tall order for many Democrats. She remains popular within the party and among its voters, according to a Siena College poll released last week.
The attorney general's office is a prominent and powerful position in state government, and has vaulted its occupants to national attention. James last week moved ahead with her office's investigation of the business dealings of former President Donald Trump and wants to depose him as part of a fraud probe.