SCHENECTADY -- Mayor Gary McCarthy on Tuesday announced his endorsement of Letitia ‘Tish’ James as the next state Attorney General.
McCarthy was joined on the steps of Schenectady City Hall by several other elected officials, as a storm rolled through the area. He cited James’ tenacity and dedication to making New York an example for other states in setting policy and standards as the reason for his endorsement.
“I look forward to working with Tish James in the AG’s office -- working with the governor [Gov. Andrew Cuomo] to continue to build this community and working with other elected officials at the state level to make sure we continue to position New York as the Empire State,” McCarthy said.
City Council members John Polimeni and Marion Porterfield also attended the event and provided their own endorsements of James, who is currently the New York City Public Advocate.
She said it was an honor and a privilege to be endorsed by the local officials. She lived in Schenectady during her time working for the New York State Assembly and said the city, which she has called her favorite upstate town, has changed a lot since she was last here.
“It’s a testament to the leadership of this great mayor and this great City Council,” James said. “Schenectady is not the Schenectady I remember. Schenectady is on the rise and is the model going forward.”
Polimeni said he was supporting James because she is “extremely well qualified.”
“I can’t think of a better person to fight for the rights of all New Yorkers,” Polimeni said.
Porterfield said she recently met James and was inspired by her courage.
“She’s not afraid to stand up for people she feels have been wronged and perhaps people who are sometimes underrepresented,” Porterfield said. “I can definitely identify with that.”
James is in a Democratic primary with constitutional attorney Zephyr Teachout and U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-Cold Spring.
They are running for the seat currently occupied by acting state Attorney General Barbara Underwood, who took over after the resignation of Eric Schneiderman.
James said she considers herself a reformer and a progressive who is willing to fight for New York.
“What we need is a champion as the next attorney general who recognizes the law should be applied evenly and fairly all throughout the state of New York,” James said.
If she wins, James said she might return to the Electric City.
“I am looking for a place in Schenectady when I become the next Attorney General,” she said. “I’m going to look to the mayor for referrals.”