New York City’s Public Advocate Letitia James won the Democratic primary for attorney general on Thursday, coming out ahead in a field of four candidates during a closely watched race.
James is on her way to making history in the coming general election. If elected over her Republican opponent Keith Wofford she would become the first black woman elected to a statewide office.
The unofficial election results for the top two candidates were within 10 percent. James won 38.67 percent, or 578,433, of the total 1,495,972 votes cast in the race, compared to Zephyr Teachout who came in at 29.52 percent, with 441,622 of the total votes.
Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney managed to pull in 23.84 percent, or 356,699 votes, and attorney Leecia Eve garnered only 3.24 percent, or 48,500 of the total votes cast.
During James’s time as New York City Public advocate she has worked on criminal justice reform, worked toward getting police body cameras, called for special prosecutors for police misconduct, and pushed for reform of the grand jury process. She also has the backing of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
In May of this year allegations of abuse came out against New York’s Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman. After these allegations were publicized, Schneiderman quickly stepped down.
The New York Legislature appointed Barbra Underwood to fill the vacancy, the first woman to hold the office of Attorney General in New York. During her interview, she announced she would not run for the position again come November.
The race for the Democratic candidates for attorney general was extremely close in the closing days of the election, according to a poll taken by the Siena College Research Institute. That poll showed James with 24 percent of the Democratic vote, Maloney with 25 percent, Teachout with 18 percent, and Eve with 3 percent.
Another poll taken by Change Research was conducted closer to the elections on September 11 and 12 and produced different results. In that poll, Teachout was leading with 28 percent, James followed with 27 percent, Maloney was right behind her with 26 percent, and trailing behind was Eve with 3 percent. The remaining 16 percent was undecided.
Eve, a native of Buffalo, is the daughter of Arthur O. Eve, the former deputy speaker of the the state Assembly. During Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign Leecia Eve served as one of Clinton’s senior advisers. Eve also served Deputy Secretary for Economic Development under Governor Cuomo. During this time she was responsible for overseeing 11 agencies in state government.
Maloney is the U.S. representative for New York’s 18th Congressional District. He previously worked as a senior adviser for President Bill Clinton.
Teachout is an associate law professor at the Fordham University. In 2014 she ran for governor and in 2016 she ran for Congress in New York’s 19th District.
James will face Republican nominee Keith Wofford and Green Party candidate Michael Sussman in the General Election on Nov. 6