Letitia James was overwhelmingly elected as the attorney general of New York state on Tuesday, placing herself in position to be at the forefront of the legal bulwark against the policies of President Trump. She succeeds Barbara Underwood, who already has dozens of cases pending against the president.
Letitia James was overwhelmingly elected as the attorney general of New York state on Tuesday, shattering a trio of racial and gender barriers and placing herself in position to be at the forefront of the legal bulwark against the policies of President Trump, the New York Times reports. With her victory over Republican Keith Wofford, James, 60, the public advocate for New York City, becomes the first woman in New York to be elected attorney general, the first African-American woman to be elected to statewide office and the first black person to serve as attorney general. The victory follows the surprise resignation of former attorney general Eric Schneiderman after charges that he physically abused multiple women. James will succeed Barbara Underwood, who was appointed by the legislature to complete Schneiderman’s term.
Underwood already has filed dozens of cases against Trump, including an investigation into his charity and lawsuits to stop immigrant families from being separated at the border and to block the rollback of net neutrality and environmental regulations. In her victory speech, James vowed to continue the office’s scrutiny of the president. “He should know that we here in New York — and I, in particular — we are not scared of you,” she said. “And as the next attorney general of his home state, I will be shining a bright light into every dark corner of his real estate dealings, and every dealing, demanding truthfulness at every turn.” James will continue cases such as the lawsuit against Purdue Pharma, which the state charges has misled the public about the dangers of OxyContin. She also said she intends to name a public ethics counsel, pursue criminal justice reform and push for the power to bring corruption cases independent of the governor’s office.