Zephyr Teachout halts AG campaign, endorses Tish James

Zephyr Teachout
File photo

State Attorney General candidate Zephyr Teachout dropped her campaign to be the state’s next top prosecutor Sunday and threw her support behind incumbent Letitia James, three days after James pulled out of the race for governor.

“Our campaign for NY Attorney General has always been rooted in doing the best for New Yorkers. Attorney General Letitia James is an exceptional leader and dedicated public servant. Given her decision to seek re-election, I will be immediately suspending my own campaign,” Teachout wrote in a statement Dec. 12. “I strongly support Attorney General James in her re-election and her critical fights to deliver justice for the people of New York.”

The constitutional and property law professor at Fordham University launched a bid for AG last month and positioned herself in the left-progressive lane for the seat against an array of candidates.

She previously ran for AG in 2018, but lost the Democratic primary to James. She made her entrance into New York politics in 2014 when she ran a long-shot campaign for governor against Andrew Cuomo.

James ended her campaign for governor on Thursday, Dec. 9, saying she wanted to focus on “important investigations and cases that are underway.”

Despite her office’s bombshell investigation into sexual harassment allegations against former Governor Cuomo, which led to his resignation in August, along with several high-profile cases against the National Rifle Association and former President Donald Trump, James’s campaign struggled to gain momentum in its first month.

James polled a consistent second behind Kathy Hochul, including a recent Siena College poll that put the incumbent’s support among voters at two-to-one over the challenger. 

Soon after James’s surprise withdrawal, Hochul got the coveted endorsement from Brooklyn Democratic Party boss, Flatbush Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn, who said she had told the AG about her decision that morning.

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