New York Attorney General Letitia James ends run for governor, will focus on AG re-election

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ALBANY, N.Y. (WHEC/AP) — New York State General Letitia James announced Thursday she has dropped out of the race for governor.

In a statement, James said:

“I have come to the conclusion that I must continue my work as attorney general. 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."

James first threw her hat into the ring on Oct.29. The announcement came just months after issuing a report that drove former Governor Andrew Cuomo from office in a sexual harassment scandal. She was poised to be a top threat to Gov. Kathy Hochul, who had been Cuomo’s lieutenant governor.

Cuomo and his political advisers assailed the report as an unfair and inaccurate hit job, designed to drive him out of a job James coveted. But he resigned from office in August, saying the state couldn’t afford the distraction of an impeachment fight.

James dismissed the charge that her investigation was politically motivated, saying Cuomo should take responsibility for his own conduct.

James ended her campaign for governor the same day it was reported that she was seeking to have former President Donald Trump sit for a deposition in an ongoing civil probe into his business practices. A familiar with the matter who was not authorized to speak publicly and did so under the condition of anonymity told The Associated Press that James’ office requested the Trump provide testimony Jan. 7.

James’ office would not comment on the Trump matter but it has spent more than two years looking at whether the Trump Organization misled banks or tax officials about the value of assets.

When asked for reaction on James’ announcement during her weekly COVID-19 briefing, Governor Kathy Hochul said the A.G. did give her a call this morning to inform her of the news. "All I can say is I respect her tremendously…we’re going to do great things as we head into the November Election together."

Hochul also joked that "this is a very bad day for Donald Trump and the N.R.A."