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Tish James, Michael Gianaris won’t seek state AG’s job

ALBANY — New York City Public Advocate Tish James and Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Queens) on Friday dropped out of contention to replace Eric T. Schneiderman as state attorney general.

“After thoughtful and careful deliberation, I have decided not to participate in the ongoing legislative process regarding the Attorney General’s Office,” James tweeted late Friday, the deadline for applying for the appointment.

“More to come next week,” she wrote.

Gianaris, who heads the Senate Democrats’ campaign committee, said, “This is a critical time in New York, and a decision that deserves careful thought. As a result, I will not be participating in the expedited legislative selection process next week.”

James had appeared to be the most aggressive in seeking the legislative appointment to fill the term until Dec. 31. Schneiderman resigned after The New Yorker magazine reported assault accusations by four women who were past romantic partners of Schneiderman’s.

James and Gianaris, however, said they still may run for attorney general in the Democratic primary in September.

Anyone seeking to be appointed by the Legislature in a voting process dominated by Assembly Democrats had to have submitted a resume to Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie by 5 p.m. Friday.

Acting Attorney General Barbara Underwood, state solicitor general, has been invited by the Assembly to seek the legislative appointment.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who has no role in the legislative appointment, is among a growing number of Democrats calling for Underwood to remain in charge until Dec. 31.

Underwood also is considering a run for the seat in November.

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