New York Attorney General Letitia James, one of former President Donald Trump’s chief legal enemies, hopes to win a second term on Tuesday in a race against a little-known Republican lawyer.
James, a Democrat, is being challenged by Republican commercial litigation attorney Michael Henry.
James, 64, made history when he took office in January 2019. She is the first black woman elected to a statewide office, the first black attorney general statewide, and the first woman elected to the post.
She launched an investigation soon after Trump took office, suing a Republican in September, claiming he and his company misled banks and others about the value of his assets.
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James also oversaw last year’s sexual harassment investigation that led to the resignation of Governor Andrew Cuomo, facing off against one of her party’s stars.
Other enemies include the National Rifle Association. Manufacturers and distributors of opioid pain relievers. The Roman Catholic Church whose office is investigating the handling of priest abuse. The NYPD she sued over her treatment of protesters after Minneapolis police killed George Floyd.
Like many New York Republicans this year, Henry has campaigned on concerns about rising crime and an unwavering support for law enforcement. He supports deregulating guns and deregulating businesses.
Henry said James’ office was “weaponized for political ambitions”. He criticized her for being involved in the Cuomo investigation when she was a potential Trump replacement.
James ran for governor last year after Cuomo’s resignation, but resigned about two months later.
During Trump’s presidency, James sued the administration dozens of times, challenging policies on issues such as the environment, immigration, education and health care. She also fought Trump on his plan to include questions about immigration status in the Census, winning it in the U.S. Supreme Court.
Mr Trump has repeatedly accused Mr James of being driven by “racism” and political considerations.
Before taking office in 2018, James called Trump a “crook,” a “carnival barker,” and a “scare man.”
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After leaked Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade, James vowed to use her office to protect abortion rights in the state.
James, who grew up in Brooklyn and still lives there, has privately revealed that he had an abortion about 20 years ago.