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Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney jumps into NY’s AG race

The congressman from the Hudson Valley becomes the fourth Democrat to announce intentions to compete in a primary.

U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney.

U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney. Photo Credit: Newsday / Lili Holzer-Glier

ALBANY — Make it four Democrats now running for New York attorney general.

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-Philipstown) announced Wednesday that, as expected, he is jumping into the race to succeed Eric T. Schneiderman, who resigned in the wake of assault allegations leveled by four women.

Maloney joins Zephyr Teachout, Leecia Eve and Tish James in the Sept. 13 Democratic primary. Attorney Keith Wofford is the endorsed Republican candidate.

Maloney said he’d focus on corruption if elected New York’s top law-enforcement officer.

“When you’ve got crooks in the White House, crooks in Albany, and crooks in corporate suites, you need a leader with the passion to fight and the experience to win. That’s why I’m running for attorney general,” the congressman said in a statement. “I’ve successfully defended the [U.S.] Constitution and our progressive values against the Trump Administration’s attacks down in Washington — but now it’s time to go on offense.”

Maloney has represented a politically split Hudson Valley district for six years, spurring some Democrats to urge him to stick to Congress rather than leave open a vulnerable seat.

For now, Maloney will attempt to be on the ballot for both Congress and attorney general. He has said if he wins the attorney general primary, he will forgo his re-election nomination — allowing local Democratic committees to fill the vacancy on the ballot in September.

James O’Donnell, the Republican running for the congressional seat, called Maloney’s strategy of running for two offices simultaneously “illegal” and “unethical” and called on elections officials to review the issue.

Maloney is the only openly gay candidate in the diverse Democratic field.

James, currently the New York Public Advocate, has racked up the most institutional support and scored the party’s official endorsement at the recent Democratic state convention.

Eve is a former aide to Hillary Clinton and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. Teachout is a Fordham University law professor who challenged Cuomo from the political left in the 2014 gubernatorial primary, winning 34 percent.

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