NEW YORK — New York will soon have its first black Attorney General.
Letitia James won Tuesday’s election, beating Republican Keith Wofford. The Attorney General position opened up following the resignation of Eric Schneiderman.
James previously held office as Public Advocate in New York City.
She emerged from a hotly contested, four-way Democratic primary in September for the right to face Wofford in the general election.
James said she would continue the state’s pending lawsuits challenging several Trump policies on immigration, the environment and other topics, and accusing the president’s charitable foundation of breaking the law.
She grew up in Brooklyn with seven siblings. Her parents were maintenance workers. Wofford’s father worked in an automobile factory near Buffalo for three decades and they’d spend fall and winter Sundays listening to Bills games on the radio.
James said she wants to use her office’s regulatory powers to prevent foreclosures and home abandonment by having legal services lawyers work with homeowners embedded in the attorney general’s office.
She said she would also expand on the “worst landlords” list she introduced as public advocate by taking action against slumlords statewide.
“Conditions that threaten the life and safety of tenants — low-income tenants and tenants of color in particular — will not be tolerated,” James said.
The attorney general appointed to replace Schneiderman, Barbara Underwood, declined to run for the office but said she would take up an offer to stay on some capacity if James wins. She was previously the state’s solicitor general.