Campaigns & Elections

The Democrats wanting to replace Letitia James as New York Attorney General

Zephyr Teachout is officially running for state attorney general, while Andrew Cuomo is reportedly among many Democrats mulling entry in the 2022 primary.

Zephyr Teachout has said she would run in an open 2022 Democratic primary for state attorney general.

Zephyr Teachout has said she would run in an open 2022 Democratic primary for state attorney general. a katz/Shutterstock

State legislators. Local officials. Academics and members of Congress. They’re all represented in the growing pool of potential candidates for state attorney general.

The race to become the top law enforcement official in the state became an open primary as soon as the current occupant of the office – Letitia James – announced her campaign for governor in October. A dozen or so Democrats are now hoping they have the right stuff to replace her, but they have to win the June primary first.

Any of them might prevail in a crowded primary where a plurality of votes is enough to win. Here is a round-up of the Democrats who might jump into the race now that James is moving on to other things. 

This article was last updated Nov. 18.

Running 

Daniel Goldman

Daniel Goldman, a former federal prosecutor who was counsel to House Democrats in the first impeachment probe of President Donald Trump, announced his candidacy in a video released Nov. 16. Goldman vowed to “fight for one standard of justice for all,” protect abortion rights and take on climate change and the NRA. Goldman previously served as an assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York under former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, where he worked on cases against Wall Street corruption and the Mafia.

Fordham University Associate Law Professor Zephyr Teachout

The now-four-time candidate announced her official entry into the state attorney general’s race on Monday. Flanked by allies including state Assembly members Ron Kim and Emily Gallagher outside the Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Municipal Building in Brooklyn, Teachout laid out her platform to battle corruption, tech monopolies and “greed” in the pharmaceutical industry. She also said she would advocate for women’s rights, climate justice and improved elder care if elected. Past campaigns for governor, state attorney general and Congress have shown that Teachout can compete, but the bonafide political-corruption expert is evidently hoping that the fourth time might be a charm. 

State Sen. Shelley Mayer

One dark horse in the race is the Yonkers state senator, an attorney who has cultivated strong ties to organized labor during her time in both chambers of the Legislature. She made her campaign official just as she got ready to rub elbows with potential supporters at Somos in early November. Her record as a relative moderate could give her an edge against the competition depending on who else might jump into the race. 

Possibly running

State Senate Deputy Majority Leader Michael Gianaris

The electoral train might finally be arriving for the longtime Queens legislator who has eyed the state attorney general’s office since Republican George Pataki was governor. Astute reporters note all the little hints he is dropping about his interest in finally moving on from the state Legislature.

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez

Gonzalez has been “fishing around” lately with his political allies to see whether a campaign for state attorney general might work, according to The City. His reputation as a lefty reformer – and willingness to support changes to progressive reforms – could help him assemble a winning coalition statewide, but it remains to be seen how well he could mount his first statewide campaign. 

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz

The City cites four sources saying Katz is “certainly” going to run in an open primary. Let’s hope for all our sakes that her next campaign does not come down, like last time, to a few dozen votes and a ton of litigation.

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney

The absence of an upstate candidate means this Hudson Valley powerbroker might have an edge north of the Bronx County line. His national donor network could go a long way in a Democratic primary for statewide office, but it remains unclear whether Maloney is really interested in avenging his loss in the 2018 primary for state attorney general. A spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment by publication time. 

Assembly Member Clyde Vanel

Vanel told City & State at Somos that he is still assembling a campaign team – with an official announcement sometime this month. Considering how the Queens legislator has been all about making New York a space hub in recent years, we’re going to have to all call him Attorney General Moonbeam if it all works out. 

Rep. Kathleen Rice

The Long Island member of Congress ran in a Democratic primary for attorney general years ago. Whether she will do so next year remains an upcoming question. A spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment by publication time. 

Maria Vullo

The former superintendent of the Department of Financial Services has created a campaign committee after multiple media outlets reported she is considering a run for attorney general. Her experience overseeing the multitrillion-dollar insurance and finance industries, as well as her time leading a national abortion rights advocacy group, could help stick out in a crowded primary field. 

Former Gov. Andrew Cuomo 

Whispers that the disgraced governor could mount a comeback run for office have been swirling since he stepped down in August, with insiders speculating he could again seek the position that catapulted him to the Executive Mansion. Cuomo served as state attorney general from 2007 to 2010, the year he was elected governor.

Not running

Rep. Tom Suozzi

The Long Island Congress member might get a boost in a potential gubernatorial run if Washington Democrats end up increasing federal tax breaks for affluent people to keep them in states with high local taxes like New York – an issue he’s staked his political future on. Whatever happens in that race, a source close to Suozzi told City & State weeks ago that he is not interested in running for attorney general.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.