Attorney General Letitia James suspends run for NY governor

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Thursday, December 9, 2021
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N.J Burkett has the latest on New York Attorney General Letitia James' announcement that she is suspending her campaign for governor.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York Attorney General Letitia James suspended her campaign for governor on Thursday, saying she will run for reelection to her current position to "finish the job" amid numerous ongoing investigations.

James, a Democrat, had announced in late October that she was running for governor, two months after a sexual harassment investigation she oversaw led former Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign.

She had been expected to be a strong challenger against Gov. Kathy Hochul for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in an increasingly crowded field.

"I have come to the conclusion that I must continue my work as attorney general," James said in a statement. "There are a number of important investigations and cases that are underway, and I intend to finish the job. I am running for re-election to complete the work New Yorkers elected me to do."

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After the announcement, Democratic chairman Jay Jacobs said James opted to relinquish her pursuit of the governor's office for the good of the state Democratic party.

"I think that she understands that we need to be united now, and a divisive primary is going to go against our interests," he said. "Not going to help us. This was a selfless act on her part."

James' campaign did not gain significant traction despite her high profile as the state's attorney general, while Gov. Hochul locked up significant endorsements across the state in her bid to win a term outright after she assumed office upon the resignation of former Gov. Cuomo.

Separately, James is seeking former President Donald Trump's testimony in an ongoing civil investigation into his business practices, a person familiar with the matter said.

She has requested that Trump sit for a deposition on Jan. 7, according to the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation.

Her office is investigating whether the Trump Organization committed financial fraud in the way it valued its real estate holdings.

Property valuations are also under investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney's Office, which is deciding whether the former president should face criminal charges.

James had announced her candidacy on Twitter on October 29, saying, "I'm running for Governor of New York because I have the experience, vision, and courage to take on the powerful on behalf of all New Yorkers."

A campaign video cited the multiple lawsuits she filed against former Trump's administration and an investigation into deaths in New York's nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

James, 62, is the first woman elected as New York's attorney general and the first Black person to serve in the role.

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Earlier on Thursday, James' office canceled a planned event on Long Island.

As governor, Cuomo endorsed James for attorney general and headlined a fundraiser for her in 2018 as she ran in a four-way Democratic primary to replace Eric Schneiderman, who abruptly resigned amid allegations that he abused women.

Hochul, who is from the Buffalo area, entered office with a reputation as a centrist who is working to bolster her ties to New York City.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)

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