Letitia James announces run for New York governor: ‘I have the experience, vision, and courage’

James touted her candidacy and positioned herself as "a force for change."

New York State Attorney General, Letitia James, announce a run for governor on Friday.

“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,” James captioned a tweet.

The ad described her as “for good-paying jobs, a health care system that puts people ahead of profits, to protect the environment, make housing more affordable and lift up our schools in every neighborhood.” 

She did not mention former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo but made a reference to him. He stepped down as the top steward of New York amid allegations of sexual misconduct.

“I’ve held accountable those who mistreat and harass women in the workplace, no matter how powerful the offenders,” she said.

She also alluded to former President Donald Trump whom her administration has investigated.

“I’ve sued the Trump administration 76 times — but who’s counting?”

Ultimately, James positioned herself as the person to help move the state forward.

“I’ve spent my career guided by a simple principle: Stand up to the powerful on behalf of the vulnerable,” she said at another. “To be a force for change.”

According to the New York Times, James, her chief of staff, and other advisers had been meeting with labor unions in the state as well as other powerful Democrats to inform them of her intention to challenge Gov. Kathy Hochul in the Democratic primary next year. 

Leticia James theGrio.com
State Attorney General Letitia James (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Hochul took over as governor after Gov. Cuomo resigned earlier this year amid a sex scandal. James and her office led an in-depth, independent investigation into the accusations against Cuomo and decisively concluded that the governor had abused his power in office against female staff members. 

Hochul is the first female governor of New York State.

Several news outlets reported that James could make her announcement earlier in the week.

“Attorney General Letitia James has made a decision regarding the governor’s race,” an adviser, Kimberly Peeler-Allen, said in a statement. “She will be announcing it in the coming days.”

James, whose office is currently investigating the business dealings of Trump and the Trump Organization, would be a formidable candidate. She has national name recognition and, if elected, would be the first Black female governor in the United States. 

NY Attorney General Letitia James Visits Rochester As Office Investigates Death Of Daniel Prude
New York State Attorney General Letitia James speaks at a news conference about the ongoing investigation into the death of Daniel Prude on September 20, 2020 in Rochester, New York. (Photo by Joshua Rashaad McFadden/Getty Images)

According to the NYT report, James has been quietly speaking with leaders statewide for weeks and has hired several “top-tier consultants,” and has set new and more ambitious fundraising goals.

Some New York insiders warn that one of James’ greatest opponents may be someone who is not even in the race — former governor Andrew Cuomo. “I don’t think there’s any doubt that he’s manipulative and vindictive and knows that if she did not have the backbone to stand up as she did, he would still be governor,” said John Samuelsen, the international president of the Transport Workers Union, which has backed Ms. James in past campaigns. “He grinds axes with the best of them.”

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