James sets stage for 2022 Democratic gubernatorial primary clash

New York Attorney General Letitia James made it official Friday. After months of speculation, she announced she is running for governor in 2022.

James made the announcement on her new campaign website. In her kickoff announcement, she highlighted her New York roots, as well as her work as attorney general and former New York City public advocate. In a video, James said she spent her career guided by a simple principle: stand up to the powerful on behalf of the vulnerable, to be a force for change.

James’ entry into the gubernatorial sweepstakes sets up a Democratic primary clash against moderate Gov. Kathy Hochul, who took office this summer following the resignation of former Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

James played a big role in forcing Cuomo from office. She headed the investigation that concluded Cuomo is a serial sexual abuser.
Many people believe James’ entry into the race also provides fresh fuel to the argument her investigation of Cuomo was politically motivated.

James is 63-years old. Fellow Democrat John McDonald, who hasn’t announced any endorsement yet, says this was probably the right time for James to enter the race.

"I think she’s smart. She’s a smart politician. She knows you got to give her a little bit of time, but on the other hand, she reads the daily updates of the governor having a fundraiser here, a fundraiser there, and the reality is unlike most gubernatorial races where challengers will run for one full year, we have a truncated window. It’s really only seven to eight months right now ‘til June 28 of next year for the primary," said McDonald.

James’ campaign video also cited the multiple lawsuits she filed against former President Donald Trump’s administration, and an investigation into deaths in New York’s nursing homes during the pandemic.

If James wins the 2022 election, she would be the first black, female governor in the country.