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Tuesday, November 23, 2021

AG James will launch challenge of Hochul for NY governor: sources

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ALBANY — State Attorney General Letitia James — whose bombshell sexual harassment report led to the resignation of ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo — will announce that she’s challenging incumbent Gov. Kathy Hochul in the 2022 Democratic primary, The Post has learned.

James called a union leader Wednesday notifying the official she plans to announce her campaign “shortly,” according to a source.

Kimberly Peeler-Allen, senior advisor for James’ campaign put out a statement Wednesday that said: “Attorney General Letitia James has made a decision regarding the governor’s race. She will be announcing it in the coming days.”

“I hear she’s making calls. She made a call to me for money last week,” a second source familiar with James’ thinking told The Post. 

“She did not want to say that she’s running for governor — even though we understood each other,” said the source, noting James wrily added: “You know what I’m up to.”

“Her problem is, Puerto Rico is next week,” said the source — referring to the SOMOS conference there Nov. 3 to Nov. 7, which is expected to be heavily attended by New York’s political heavyweights — including James, Hochul and the likely next mayor of New York City, Democratic Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.

Kathy Hochul
Gov. Hochul already has announced that she will be running in 2022.
G.N.Miller/NYPost

“She will be going down to Puerto Rico and she’s going to be buttonholeing a lot of people. You can’t be veiled at that. As she talks to people, she’s got to be blunt. That’s what gives me some thought that she’s going to announce before Puerto Rico,” the source speculated.

Another labor source who requested anonymity said James has also had conversations with New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams to talk him out of running for governor — and he’s refusing to agree to that.

Williams announced earlier this month that he’s formed an exploratory committee for the campaign.

According to a source, James has attempted to convince New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams to not run for governor.
According to a source, James has attempted to convince New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams to not run for governor.
Paul Martinka

James has served as attorney general since 2018, and before that was city public advocate.

But in recent weeks she has personally been making calls to supporters, according to sources, and openly telling individuals to “stay tuned” regarding her future plans.

Her campaign committee has also begun internal polling efforts, according to two sources with knowledge of the dealings.

James’ office released a sexual harassment report on Aug. 3 that concluded Cuomo sexually harassed 11 women and created a toxic work environment — breaking “multiple” state and federal laws.

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