New York Attorney General Letitia James is running for governor in 2022, she announced Friday.
New York's top prosecutor will be entering the gubernatorial race after filing the Aug. 3 report that drove former Gov. Andrew Cuomo from office. James will be competing with Gov. Kathy Hochul, who will seek to be elected to a full term after assuming the governorship upon Cuomo's resignation.
"I've spent my career guided by a simple principle," James, a Democrat, stated in her announcement video. "Stand up to the powerful on behalf of the vulnerable to be a force for change."
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.— Tish James (@TishJames) October 29, 2021
Let's do this, together. pic.twitter.com/JA21M19p5m
James pledged to be a governor who "isn't afraid to stand up to powerful interests on behalf of the vulnerable," citing her legal battles amid the opioid crisis and 76 lawsuits filed against the Trump administration. The attorney general also emphasized how she "held accountable those who mistreat and harass women in the workplace, no matter how powerful the offenders," a likely swipe at Trump and Cuomo.
The attorney general has made a name for herself since her appointment through a series of significant lawsuits filed against political players in the United States, including the NRA, and has been investigating the business of former President Donald Trump.
James is expected to be among Hochul's most formidable opponents in the Democratic primary due to her connections to the centrist Democrats in the party and her relationship with the left-wing Working Families Party.
James could also end up competing against Mayor Bill de Blasio and public advocate Jumaane Williams, who have both taken steps toward gubernatorial campaigns in 2022.
James, 63, became the first black woman elected as New York's attorney general in 2018. Before becoming attorney general, James was New York City's public advocate and a member of the city council. She also worked as a public defender and assistant state attorney general.
If elected, James would be the first black woman to be governor of a U.S. state.