New York State Attorney General Letitia James announces run for governor

New York State Attorney General, Letitia James, speaks during a news conference, to announce criminal justice reform in New York City, U.S., May 21, 2021.  REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo/File Photo/File Photo

Letitia James, the New York state attorney general whose sexual harassment investigation led to former Governor Andrew Cuomo’s resignation, said in a Twitter message on Friday that she intended to seek the state’s highest office.

“I’m running for Governor of New York because I have the experience, vision, and courage to take on the powerful on behalf of all New Yorkers,” the Democrat wrote. “Let’s do this, together.”

James, 63, is the first candidate to challenge fellow Democrat Kathy Hochul, the former lieutenant governor who replaced Cuomo to become the state’s first woman governor when he stepped down on Aug. 24.

Hochul, also 63, a Buffalo native, has already announced her candidacy for a full four-year stint as governor of the country’s fourth most populous state when the remaining portion of the term she inherited from Cuomo expires at the end of 2022.

Other Democrats who may be planning a run include New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, whose term expires at the end of this year and who the New York Times reported earlier this month has told associates he intends to challenge Hochul.