Add one more name to the list of Black female candidates who could make history in the 2018 elections.
Letitia James, New York City’s public advocate, announced her candidacy for the Democratic nomination for state attorney general on Wednesday. If elected, she would become the first Black woman to win statewide elected office in New York.
“New Yorkers deserve an attorney general who is unwavering in her fight to uphold and defend their most basic rights,” James told her supporters at the Brooklyn Historical Society. “And I promise all of you that I will never, ever waiver in my fight to uphold and defend your basic rights.”
Several other Black female candidates are seeking to make history in 2018. In Georgia, former state lawmaker Stacey Abrams could become the nation’s first Black woman elected governor. Several other candidates are running to become the first Black women to go to Congress from their states, including Colorado, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, according to the Washington Post.
James, a Howard University Law School graduate, is no stranger to making electoral history. In 2014, she was elected public advocate, making her the first Black woman in New York City to hold citywide elected office. As public advocate, she serves as a watchdog over city agencies.
Her candidacy comes a week after former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman resigned in disgrace after four women accused him of abuse. James’ name came up as a possible interim attorney general to fill the last seven months of Schneiderman’s term. But James, a former assistant attorney general and ex-public defender, withdrew her name from consideration.
James could face a crowded field in the Sept. 13 primary, with a possible challenge from another African-American candidate, Leecia Eve, a former top aide to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and a candidate for lieutenant governor in 2006. Other possible Democratic rivals include State Sen. Michael Gianaris and Zaphyr Teachout.