Many have been waiting for months on end, hazarding guesses as to James’ political aspirations. Giving credence to all of the speculation is Kimberly Peeler-Allen, a senior adviser on James’ campaign team, who said on Wednesday that “Attorney Letitia James made a decision regarding the governor’s race…She will be announcing it in the coming days.”
This has the makings of becoming another historic moment for James, who was the first Black and first female Attorney General of New York, and with this race, if elected James would be the first Black woman to be elected governor in the United States.
James made headlines earlier this year after her “office issued a report alleging that then-New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration had undercounted Covid-19 nursing home deaths by as much as 50 percent. That was followed by a request to investigate sexual harassment complaints against the three-term governor, a fellow Democrat.” James has also “won praise…for clashes with the National Rifle Association and Former President Donald Trump” and previously represented Brooklyn serving on the New York City Council.
Running for governor is a “move that would pit her against incumbent Gov. Kathy Hochul in a high-profile Democratic primary in 2022,” Politico reports. After years of infighting amongst Democratic party leaders, James’ run challenges their hopes to avoid a heavily contested gubernatorial race. Analysts and political pundits are unsure of how “Ms. James would seek to differentiate herself politically or ideologically from Ms. Hochul,” who also holds the record for being the first female governor of New York.
The field is becoming ever-more crowded as Jumaane Williams, New York City Public Advocate, recently formed a committee to explore a run for Governor, and the primary could become even more contentious as New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Rep. Thomas Suozzi (NY 03) are reportedly also considering throwing their hat in the ring.