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Reaction to appointment of Underwood to Interim NYAG

May 22, 2018 11:45 PM

Barbara Underwood has been appointed as the Interim New York Attorney General. Underwood will serve until the end of the year. Voters will elect her replacement in November.

Former AG Eric Schneiderman resigned from the position back on May 7. That was after he was accused of physically assaulting women.
  
Underwood was sworn in the next day as Acting Attorney General.
    
Underwood said she's never had any desire to run for office, but as Interim AG she's going to be involved in a number of national issues. From the Russia investigation, to environmental and immigration issues, lawmakers are confident Underwood is well equipped for the job.

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"As many of you know I've served in many roles in government throughout my career, but I believe this job at this moment in history is the most important job I have ever had,” Underwood said.

"It actually was a moment in history, if you really think about it a moment that the legislature doesn't have this opportunity to often to come together into a point a singular person to vacant position, that's number one,” Assemblyman John McDonald said. “And number two, we have a woman, the first woman appointed to be the Attorney General."

McDonald and Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy are among many lawmakers who are pleased Underwood has no desire to run in November.

"I think was my goal and I think that of many others is to make sure that politics didn't enter into the picture,” McDonald said.

"Couldn't ask for a more qualified person to step in in this interim capacity,” Fahy said. “And at the same time then in terms of the four-year term we'll let the voters decide who to place in the four-year term."

Underwood said the men and women working in the New York Attorney General's office have showed incredible professionalism and dedication since Schneiderman's resignation. 

"It's also helpful after a moment of distress to dig into the work and just keep going and that's the way I have felt from the moment I knew that I would be Acting Attorney General and we've been doing that,” Underwood said.

Underwood also said she will not endorse anyone running for the position this November. However, Governor Andrew Cuomo put out a statement on Tuesday, endorsing activist Tish James for the position. James is currently the New York City Public Advocate. 

Credits

Emily Burkhard

Copyright 2018 WNYT-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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