Tish James: I’m Officially Running For AG

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Amongst a packed Brooklyn Historical Society room filled with supporters shouting, “Run Tish Run,” Public Advocate Letitia James made it official today.

“My name is Letitia James but my friends call me ‘Tish’. Today, I am honored and privileged to announce that I am a candidate in the race for the office of Attorney General for the State of New York.

James entrance in the race comes barely a week after former Attorney General Eric Schneiderman resigned following allegations that he assaulted four women.

Public Advocate Letitia James raises hands in solidarity with City Council Member Laurie Cumbo to her right. Photo by Kelly Mena

James is a graduate of Howard University School of Law and Lehman College. She began her career as a public defender at the Legal Aid Society, before moving on to become chief of staff for former Beford-Stuyvesant Assemblymember Al Vann.

James first won elected office as a city council member in a 2003 special election for the 35th City Council District on the Working Families Party line after Democratic District leader Geoffrey Davis got the mainline Dems line following his brother, James E. Davis’ death.

After being term-limited out of office in 2013, James successfully ran for public advocate becoming the first woman and first woman of color holding a citywide office. If she is successful in her run for Attorney General she will become the first woman of color to hold a statewide office.

And in announcing her run, the charismatic Brooklynite went on to note the role she will play in exacting justice over the corruption as attorney general.

“The law is our most effective tool in the quest for justice and progress, not just in this city and state but across the nation. This commitment to the power of the laws, will continue to be my driving force as the Attorney General. I will never waiver in my fight to uphold and defend your basic rights,” said James.

James will not need to step down as Public Advocate to run for the state’s top prosecutor job, and has made it clear she is currently seeking to secure the Democratic nomination next week when the party meets for its annual convention in Long Island on May 22 and 23.

“My focus at this time is to carry the Democratic nomination and that is all that I have done since this happened,” said James, playing it close to the vest when it came to her interest in carrying the WFP line.

According to sources close to the race, James must receive 25% of the state Democratic committee votes in order to not have to file petitions to be on the ballot in September.

The primary is slated for September 13, and the General Election for Nov. 6.