New York Attorney General Letitia James, who oversaw a sexual harassment investigation into then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo, has announced she's running for governor.
James on Friday released a video on Twitter announcing her gubernatorial campaign, saying her career has been "guided by a simple principle: stand up to the powerful on behalf of the vulnerable." Without mentioning Cuomo by name, the New York attorney general also said she has "held accountable those who mistreat and harass women in the workplace, no matter how powerful the offenders."
In August, James released a report concluding that Cuomo sexually harassed 11 current and former state employees, prompting calls for the governor to resign. He denied the allegations but a week later announced he would step down from office. New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) succeeded Cuomo, and she's planning to run for a full term in 2022. James' campaign announcement "triggers a start to what may be an extraordinarily competitive primary," The New York Times writes.
James announced her candidacy one day after a misdemeanor complaint was filed against Cuomo accusing him of forcible touching. "The criminal charges against Mr. Cuomo for forcible touching further validate the findings in our report," James said. A spokesperson for Cuomo in response to the criminal complaint said "this process reeks of Albany politics and perhaps worse," adding, "The fact that the attorney general — as predicted — is about to announce a run for governor is lost on no one."
During her time as attorney general, James has also investigated former President Donald Trump, and in her announcement video, she touted, "I've sued the Trump administration 76 times. But who's counting?"