Public Advocate Letitia James plans to enter race for attorney general

"I have pursued the cause of justice in the courts, without fear or favor, for all of my professional life", she said, reading from a prepared statement. State lawmakers can appoint a successor to finish out the term of former Attorney General Eric Schneiderman before elections this fall.

U.S. Rep. Kathleen Rice, a Long Island Democrat who was considering running for attorney general, announced Tuesday that she'll instead seek a third term in Congress.

"I definitely think it should be an open process", Barclay said "There's a concern whenever the legislature gets to make an appointment to a statewide office - you don't want a backroom deal". Among those interviewed Tuesday were Assemblymembers Tom Abinanti and Danny O'Donnell, and former Congresswoman and New York City Comptroller Elizabeth Holtzman. "She is a tremendously qualified candidate who could serve out the remainder of this term free of any political considerations", he said.

Assembly Codes Committee Chair Joe Lentol, the highest-ranking Assembly Democrat at the public interview, could not say whether Underwood would ultimately be chosen to fill the job.

But the legislature has the power to name an interim AG and on Tuesday was interviewing potential candidates - including Underwood - who would serve through the end of the year. "Some people joke that the National Association of Attorneys General - NAAG - is also the National Association of Aspiring Governors". "I know the work of the office already", she said.

Underwood, who said she was stunned by the "deeply disturbing" accusations, said she views herself as a competent caretaker who will provide continuity in the attorney general's office. Gueron served as the deputy chief trial counsel to Schneiderman's predecessor, Andrew Cuomo, who this year is running for a third term as NY governor.

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