New York attorney general and former governor hopeful Letitia James has decided to drop out of the political race after nearly two months of campaigning, NBC New York reports.
Instead, she will opt to run for re-election as attorney general. The announcement comes on the heels of James’ office wanting to cross-examine former President Donald Trump’s role in a civil fraud investigation. As early as January, her team plans to explore Trump's business practices for any questionable and criminal activity.
She released a statement on Thursday explaining her decision to withdraw her bid.
“I have come to the conclusion that I must continue my work as attorney general,” she said. “There are a number of important investigations and cases that are underway, and I intend to finish the job. I am running for re-election to complete the work New Yorkers elected me to do."
Gabby Seay, James' campaign manager, was hired just two weeks prior to the announcement, but James had obligations of looking into Trump’s pending criminal and civil cases, The Hill reports.
If James is able to find evidence of criminal misconduct, a lawsuit can be filed against Trump but she cannot criminal charges, The New York Post reports.
James publicized her stance as a governor hopeful back in October. However, her departure will now shift focus to Gov. Kathy Hochul (D), who gained traction amid former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) resignation following sexual harassment allegations. Hochul served as lieutenant governor during Cuomo's administration; he would later resign due to the implosion of accusations.
Cuomo wasn't pleased with James' investigation into the allegations against him. After her office conducted a month-long analysis, a report shed doubt on Cuomo's innocent pleas.
"I believe these 11 women," the attorney general stated at a news conference. "I've held accountable those who mistreat and harass women in the workplace, no matter how powerful the offender."
She was able to obtain the interest and trust of Democrats earlier in her career during her stint as a city council member. However, her legal pursuits against Trump helped spotlight her as a valuable player in the political scene.