Candidates from both major political parties officially launched their bids Monday to run for state attorney general in 2022, joining a New York City attorney vying for the Republican nominee.
Zephyr Teachout, an associate law professor at Fordham Law School since 2009, constitutional law expert and activist, officially launched her campaign Monday for state attorney general.
She is the first Democrat to seek the nomination after incumbent Brooklynite state Attorney General Letitia James formally announced her campaign for governor in late October.
“The attorney general’s office is the largest public-interest law firm in th country and we have a real opportunity and a responsibility to hold power accountable and to get things done,” Teachout said Monday at the Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Municipal Building in Brooklyn.
Teachout said her four main priorities include corruption, large corporations guilty of wage theft, tax fraud and greed, climate change to sue the state’s biggest polluters and civil rights.
“I will go after politicians who lie and who think they are above the law — you know I will not stand for it,” she said.
Attorney John A. Sarcone III also announced his bid Monday to become the state Republican nominee for attorney general in front of the Westchester County Courthouse.
Sarcone is a trial litigator and appellate advocate at the state and federal levels.
“New York is in trouble,” he said Monday. “Our state has seen better days — with rampant crime and a revolving door built into our judicial system letting violent criminals back on the streets after they’re caught. I’m running for AG not to focus on just a few high-profile cases to raise my personal profile, but to bring common sense back to our justice system.”
Sarcone pledged to be “the people’s prosecutor.”
“I’m unafraid of keeping the Empire State safe, secure and strong – and unlike the incumbent, I have actual courtroom experience,” he said.
Sarcone previously served as town attorney for the town of Eastchester and deputy town attorney for the town of Cornwall. Sarcone is the principal attorney of the Sarcone Law Firm in Croton-on-Hudson
“Defunding the police isn’t the answer. Allowing rapists the right to obtain personal information of their victims is just insane. We have a public safety crisis in our state, and I’m the experienced leader who can turn the tide for our families, our seniors and for our state,” he added.
Voters will decide the state’s next attorney general Nov. 8, 2022.
Teachout entered the race Monday with support from various progressive lawmakers and government officials, including Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan, Assemblymembers Ron Kim, Emily Gallagher, Anna Kelles, Phil Steck, Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Lessig, environmental activist Bill McKibben, former public defender Alana Sivin and other elected officials from 10 counties total across New York State.
Teachout’s supporters Monday said the job of attorney general was made for her.
“Zephyr has been setting the agenda for over a decade outside of elected office — she was one of the first people to take control of the environmental question and say that we absolutely have to ban fracked gas, and New York state followed her lead,” Assemblymember Gallagher, D-Brooklyn, said Monday at Teachout’s campaign kickoff. “In this moment we need people tlike that who set the tonea nd lead with courage and conviction. Zephyr not only has the will and the courage to lead our state, but seh has the legal chops to be bol din what she is doing ... to lead not just New York state but the country.”
Teachout previously ran for the Democratic nomination for governor against former Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2014, against Republican John Faso for the 19th Congressional District seat in 2016 and in seeking the Democratic nomination for attorney general in 2018, which ultimately went to James.
Michael Henry, of Astoria, Queens, who has his own private practice, announced his campaign for the Republican nomination for state attorney general in August.
Henry’s campaign Monday referred to statements he made Oct. 28 when Teachout first filed paperwork to enter the attorney general’s race.
“I welcome Zephyr Teachout, a perennial loser, to the race to become the state’s next attorney general,” Henry said. “Voters have rejected Teachout’s quest for office on numerous occasions and they will ultimately do so again. The academic socialist activist’s ideas belong outside of the Office of the Attorney General, which must be restored to a place of common sense, integrity and justice.”
In previous campaigns, Teachout said she supports abolishing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and would sue the federal agency for unconstitutional actions in treating undocumented immigrants as a security threat.
“...and that’s the last thing we need in the middle of the worst border crisis our nation has ever seen,” Henry added. “She supports the anti-Semitic BDS movement. She was a principle backer of so-called criminal justice reforms that have created a crime crisis across the state. New Yorkers are tired of the hard-left turn the state’s taken. I’m confident that I can restore balance, integrity and justice to this state.”
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