New York attorney general and former governor hopeful Letitia James has decided to drop out of the political race after nearly two months of campaigning, NBC New York reported.
Instead, she will opt to run for re-election as attorney general. The announcement comes on the heels of James’ office wanting to cross-examine former President Donald Trump’s role in a civil fraud investigation. As early as January, her team plans to explore Trump’s business practices for any questionable and criminal activity.
She released a statement on Thursday explaining her decision to withdraw her bid.
“I have come to the conclusion that I must continue my work as attorney general,” she said. “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.”
Gabby Seay, James’ campaign manager, was in charge of the attorney’s public imagery and advocacy efforts for the governor bid, but she, too, had obligations of looking into Trump’s pending criminal and civil cases, The Hill reported.
If James is able to find evidence of criminal misconduct, a lawsuit can be filed against Trump but not criminal charges, The New York Post reported.
James publicized her stance as a governor hopeful back in October. However, her departure will now shift focus to Gov. Kathy Hochul (D), who gained traction amid former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) resignation following sexual harassment allegations. Hochul served as lieutenant gov. during Cuomo’s administration; he would later resign due to the implosion of accusations.
Cuomo wasn’t pleased with James’ investigation into the allegations against him. After her office conducted a month-long analysis, a report shed doubt on Cuomo’s innocent pleas. James said, “I believe these 11 women.”
“I’ve held accountable those who mistreat and harass women in the workplace, no matter how powerful the offender,” the attorney stated.
She was able to obtain the interest and trust of upstate democrats earlier in her career during her stint as a city council member. However, her legal pursuits against 45 helped cultivate her as a commodity in the political scenery.