Letitia “Tish” James won the New York Attorney General Democratic primary Thursday (Sept. 13) and moved closer to her goal of becoming the first Black women to hold the position.
Her victory is another one for the history books, alongside wins by Stacey Abrams in the Democratic gubernatorial primary in Georgia and Ayanna Pressley in the 7th Congressional District primary in Massachusetts. James, 59, who is the Public Advocate for the City of New York, joins the roster of Black female candidates who have secured major endorsements from voters, dominated conversations on Twitter and received attention via national polls and other news reports.
On Tuesday, James was on the ballot with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who also won his Democratic primary and is seeking re-election. She beat three candidates: Sean Patrick Maloney, Representative for NY’s 18th Congressional District; Leecia Eve, a Black former Hillary Clinton aide; and Zephyr Teachout, a law professor. Here are five facts about the NY AG candidate:
She Opposes Trump
James, who became the first Black woman to win a major party statewide nomination, is a strong critic of the president. “This campaign was never really about me or any of the candidates who ran,” Ms. James said in her victory speech on Thursday, according to The New York Times. “It was about the people, but mostly it was about that man in the White House who can’t go a day without threatening our fundamental rights.”
She Has A History Of Making History
The candidate’s AG primary win comes just five years after she became the first African-American woman elected to citywide office in New York.
She Is An Education Advocate
“Education is a great equalizer!,” James said to a crowd of high school students at a College and Trade School Fair in 2015, the New York Amsterdam News reported.
She Fights For Criminal Justice Reform
James had led the movement for police body-worn cameras in the NYPD, according to her profile on the NYC Public Advocate website. She also pushed for special prosecutors in police misconduct cases.
She Has A Law Background
James is a graduate of CUNY’s Lehman College and Howard University School of Law. She previously was an assistant attorney general and a public defender.