Quickly, what would have been a crowded primary scramble for state attorney general next year has cleared out. With incumbent Letitia James passing on a run for governor, it took only four days for those who were getting ready to vie to succeed her to cancel themselves.
Immediately on Thursday, a handful of would-have-been candidates were out. Over the weekend, former House impeachment counsel Dan Goldman and activist and Fordham University professor Zephyr Teachout had withdrawn. On Monday, former state Financial Services Superintendent Maria Vullo and Assemb. Clyde Vanel (D-Queens) announced their departure.
Vullo’s statement read like several others: "Tish has been a tireless leader for New York as our Attorney General, including in the fight for reproductive rights. I greatly admire the work Tish has done as Attorney General and she has my full and unwavering support for her re-election."
This consolidation of nomination support for Gov. Kathy Hochul and AG James has briefly rendered useless the old stock phrase "Democrats in disarray." State and Nassau County party leader Jay Jacobs declared that the rapid AG withdrawals are "proof that nobody in their right mind thinks they could ever beat Tish James."
But this little rush for the exits didn’t spread to the governor’s race, where city Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) remain declared candidates. As of Monday, Suozzi was sticking to his rationale that he’s the right seasoned executive for the job who will cut taxes, apply common sense, and stand up to all types of extremists.
Given that status quo, skeptics continued to wonder how Suozzi’s candidacy will look in a few weeks once trends in fundraising, polling, and New York City support become clearer.
So far, the congressman hasn’t stated a preference for whom he’d endorse to succeed him after lines for his 3rd Congressional District are redrawn early next year.
That’s just another widely anticipated race for which the field can swell and shrink.
— Dan Janison @Danjanison