New York Attorney General Letitia James is in talks with her advisers and supporters about a potential gubernatorial candidacy next year, people familiar with the matter say.
In the weeks since the investigation into James’ former government ended early last month, he and his political advisers are testing the waters to see if he will have the support of former donors and supporters if he must be re-elected. chooses to run for and runs for governor instead.
Recognition of James’ name has skyrocketed in recent years in the state and beyond. In addition to its investigation into Cuomo, the attorney general’s office is investigating the National Rifle Association and former President Trump’s company, the Trump Organization.
James and his aides are weighing the pros and cons of running in the Democratic primary for governor, some of those people added. One disadvantage would be to give up the post of powerful attorney general.
Another potential hurdle is that the current governor, Kathy Hochul, has performed well in the election and has months to gain popularity and donor support from a position of considerable power.
Some big names in New York political circles have already started calling on James’ name.
Luis Miranda Jr., longtime political adviser and father of famous musician and producer Lin-Manuel Miranda, was one of those calling for support for James Run’s possible candidacy for governor, people familiar with said awareness. These people declined to be named to speak freely about the private conversation.
Miranda, according to her firm’s website, was a key advisor to James when she successfully presented for Public Advocate for New York City.
Miranda has also been involved in the successful senatorial campaigns of Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand. Miranda was also an advisor to New York Mayor Bill de Blasio when he ran for the 2017 election.
A spokesperson for James declined to comment for this story. Miranda did not return a request for comment prior to publication.
James, also known as Tish, was elected in 2018. She is the first black woman to hold the post.
James’ investigation of Cuomo led to a report in August showing at least 11 women were allegedly sexually assaulted by the former governor, which he has consistently denied. Cuomo resigned a week after the report was released. Then Governor Hochul replaced her as the state’s first female governor.
James is also investigating the Trump Organization. His office told CNBC in May that it was investigating the company “on a criminal basis” in addition to a civilian investigation into the company.
James’ office said the charges against Trump Organization CFO Alan Weiselberg earlier this year “are part of an ongoing criminal investigation by Attorney General James and the Manhattan District Attorney, Cyrus Vance Jr. ”.
James has indicated that he believes his investigations into the Trump Organization, Cuomo, and the National Rifle Association have helped him build a solid foundation for a possible gubernatorial race, according to several people who recently had his conversation with.
An August poll conducted by Progressive Data for Progress showed James ahead of Hochul and other potential candidates in terms of preferred lead candidate. The survey’s sample size was over 800 potential voters in New York City, and its margin of error is plus or minus three percentage points.
Hochul, who said she would run, is building her own foundation.
A recent poll from Siena shows Hochul scored 42% in favor, while almost equal numbers said they either had no opinion about him or didn’t know enough about him . Since becoming governor, Hochul has recruited top donors across the state, including some who previously supported Cuomo.
There could be more competition beyond Hochul. New York City public attorney Jumane Williams, a progressive, also said he is considering running for governor. Meanwhile, de Blasio is reportedly garnering support for a possible gubernatorial candidacy.
James’ Attorney General’s campaign raised just over $ 1 million in the first half of 2021. He received contributions from a group of wealthy donors, which may have helped him get started. in the election of the governor.
Silicon Valley philanthropist Carla Jurvetson donated just over $ 49,000 to James’ campaign in March. David Karp, founder and former CEO of the short blogging platform Tumblr, donated $ 25,000 to the James campaign in April.
Real estate titan Scott Reichler donated $ 10,000 to his Attorney General campaign account in June.