Letitia James has announced that she will be withdrawing from the gubernatorial race and announces she will instead reenter the attorney general race. This withdrawal has given room to Kathy Hochul, who became governor after James’ case against former Gov Andrew Cuomo led to his resignation, to win the Democractic nomination.
Before James suspended her campaign, Hochul was the frontrunner. After announcing she would run for a second term as Attorney General, Zephyr Teachout suspended her campaign for the position and endorsed James instead.
Speculations fly amid James' withdrawal
Siena College Research Institute reported that Hochul had the lead amongst Democrats at 36 percent. But there are other theories about why James announced her drop from the race.
Among the rumors was that James was unable to reach the campaign fundraising goal of $5 million. In July, James had raised just $1.6 million, according to The New York Post.
However, State Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn shot down rumors of fundraising troubles, saying “Tish James has had long support of countless elected officials in Brooklyn, and the idea that future support would be contingent upon fundraising is as false as it is offensive.”
An unnamed spokesperson for Letitia James called the fundraising claims “complete fiction,” but a final update on how much James raised before her withdrawal has not yet been given.
Another possible reason for James' withdrawal was that she realized many people were already committed to Hochul, who is the first woman governor for New York — though a gubernatorial win for James would have made her the first Black woman governor for New York.
Letitia James will now focus on the state's case against Donald Trump
Of James, Hochul maintains that they have been cordial and she looks forward to working together with her. James herself stated the following on withdrawing, “I must continue my work as attorney general. There are a number of important investigations and cases that are underway, and I intend to finish the job.”
James herself stated in her withdrawal statement, “I have come to the conclusion that I must continue my work as attorney general. There are a number of important investigations and cases that are underway, and I intend to finish the job.” The job James speaks of is her pending investigation on the Trump Organization for fraud. In 2012 Trump organization reported on its assets saying that 40 Wall Street in New York, New York was worth 527,200,000 but then months later that value dropped to $16.7 million.
Additionally, the Trump organization is also being probed on whether or not it broke tax laws by providing lower values to property tax officials. The Trump properties under investigation include the California golf club which was valued at $900,000 and then again at $25 million which was rumored to be based on the audience that asked. A New York estate was valued between $56 million to $291 million, just five years before Trump became president.
Letitia James seeks to depose Trump on January 7, 2022 in New York. The Trump organization has called the investigation a “witch hunt” that is politically motivated, “The only focus of the New York AG is to investigate Trump, all for her political ambitions.”
However, now that James has exited the race, political motivation for this investigation is no longer plausible.