Acting Attorney General Won't Seek Election To The Office

Acting Attorney General Won't Seek Election To The Office

The second and final day of the legislature's interviews with candidates for interim attorney general on Wednesday introduced a highly diverse set of candidates, some of whom argued against the appointment of acting Attorney General Barbara Underwood despite her seemingly growing political support.

Underwood has emerged as the apparent front-runner for the appointment, though she signaled Tuesday that she has no interest in running for the office in this year's elections. Schneiderman resigned abruptly last week amid numerous reports of physical assaults against women.

Eleven others are asking to be named interim attorney general.

Another six candidates are being interviewed Wednesday.

Still, Underwood, who interviewed with the panel on Tuesday and has the support of Cuomo and several of the interview committee members, looks like the interim candidate to beat. Four women told the magazine Schneiderman, 63, physically and verbally abused them while they dated the attorney general, a Democrat who was running for a third four-year term.

"Why would anyone among the electeds want to stir controversy in their election year?" said George Arzt, a longtime Democratic consultant.

Meanwhile, Common Cause New York, a watchdog group, is pressing lawmakers to keep Underwood in the office through year's end.

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"I think all that will help me do this job", Underwood said. "That undercuts the power of the office. for what is not negligible period of time". "But I can assure you that's not who I am".

The Legislature has the authority under state law to appoint an attorney general should the position become vacant.

Several GOP female state senators, including Sen. Phil Boyle (R-Bay Shore) and Sen.

"There's some truth to that", Underwood said. She was appointed NY solicitor general, the state's No. 2 legal position, by then-Attorney General Andrew Cuomo in 2007.

But she made clear that she has no political ambitions and will not run for the attorney general's post.

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

That may be a wise move, said veteran NY political observer Larry Levy, director of the National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University.

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