Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Global | By Marsha Munoz

Rep. Rice withdraws from contention in attorney general race

Rep. Rice withdraws from contention in attorney general race

A NY assemblyman has a suggestion on what former state attorney general Eric Schneiderman should do with his campaign funds.

Underwood told state lawmakers that she's not interested in running for office November and intends only to serve out the rest of Schneiderman's term if the Legislature appoints her interim attorney general.

"If I were the legislature, I would appoint Barbara Underwood to complete this term", Lloyd Constantine, a former aide to Eliot Spitzer, wrote in his cover letter to the Legislature.

NY Acting Attorney General Barbara Underwood
View Slideshow NY Acting Attorney General Barbara Underwood Karen DeWitt

Public Advocate Letitia James has filed papers with the state Board of Elections declaring her intention to run for attorney general in the fall.

In her opening statement, Underwood, 73, detailed her experience in the legal field, from serving as law clerk for the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall to working as a federal and New York City prosecutor.

"She is a tremendously qualified candidate who could serve out the remainder of this term free of any political considerations", Maloney said of Underwood, who has said she doesn't plan to run for a four-year term as attorney general.

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"I don't think any of us expected to be sitting here today".

Assembly Codes Committee Chair Joe Lentol, the highest-ranking Assembly Democrat at the public interview, could not say whether Underwood would ultimately be chosen to fill the job.

Almost every assemblymember and senator on the committee praised Underwood's credentials effusively; Democrat Senator Brad Hoylman called her a "real lawyer's lawyer".

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Seven of the candidates, including Underwood and Abinanti, were scheduled to interview Tuesday.

Rather, Rice said she would run for a third term in Congress. "I assure you that I can be that voice".

Republicans who lead the state Senate favor Underwood, as does Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

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She said some people joke that the National Association of Attorneys General is actually the "National Association of Aspiring Governors".

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