A coalition of Westchester elected officials endorsed NYC Public Advocate Letitia “Tish” James for state attorney general at a press conference in White Plains today.

Among others, Westchester County Executive George Latimer and state Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins added their names to a growing list of Democratic elected officials who are following the governor’s leader in supporting James to fill the vacancy left by the abrupt resignation of ex-AG Eric Schneiderman following sexual harassment and abuse allegations lodged against him.


“Tish James has spent her career fighting for progress on issues that matter to me and matter to people in Yonkers, throughout Westchester, and across New York State,” Stewart-Cousins said. “She has been instrumental in uplifting working families, has lead the charge on securing women’s rights, has fought for accessible and affordable healthcare, and has defended our most basic rights. I know that as Attorney General, Tish James will continue to build on this record. I look forward to working with Attorney General Tish James and a Democratic majority in the Senate to pass progressive legislation that improves the lives of New Yorkers.”

Stewart-Cousins’ decision to back James is particularly noteworthy, given the fact that a number of insurgent primary challengers to former IDC members have cross-endorsed one of the public advocate’s opponents, Fordham Law Prof. Zephyr Teachout.

James faces a four way Democratic primary in September. Also in the running are Hudson Valley Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, and former Hillary Clinton aide Leecia Eve. A Siena poll out this week showed James with a modest lead over her opponents, but pollster Steve Greenberg characterized the race as wide open and competitive this far out from the election.

Since James received the governor’s support at the party convention back in May, Teachout has been highlighting her independence from Cuomo, whom she unsuccessfully challenged in the 2014 gubernatorial primary. Today, Teachout received the endorsement of another Westchester elected official, Assemblyman Tom Abinanti, who said:

“Zephyr Teachout sees the big picture. She is an independent corruption fighter who is not beholden to big money or the political establishment – free to use her legal expertise to take on Washington and Albany. She gets it that those who the Attorney General may investigate should not finance the Attorney General’s campaign.”

Abinanti is the second member of the Assembly to endorse Teachout. The first was Capital Region Democrat Phil Steck, who also cited the candidate’s independence as the main driver behind his decision to back her.