NEW YORK — New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who held himself out as a champion of women and a liberal foil to President Donald Trump, resigned from office after four women accused him of physical violence during intimate encounters. It was a swift and stunning fall for a Democrat who had pledged to use the power of his office to hold others accountable for abusing their power.
The state Legislature will fill his seat in the short term and several names already surfaced as possible replacements.
Among them is the Greek-American NY State Senator Mike Gianaris, “a Queens Democrat was geared up to run for attorney general in 2006, but bowed out to make way for Cuomo. But he never stopped pining for the job or raising money to run for it. As of January, ‘New Yorkers for Gianaris’ had $2.17 million in the bank,” the crainsnewyork.com reports.
“Names immediately began to surface for potential replacements — New York City Public Advocate Letitia James, state Sen. Mike Gianaris, former senior Cuomo aide and one-time superintendent of the Department of Financial services Ben Lawsky and former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara,” the POLITICO said, while the “New York Daily News” reported that “likely candidates include City Public Advocate Letitia James; former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara; Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-Nassau County); Fordham Law Prof. Zephyr Teachout; state Sen. Todd Kaminsky, a Nassau County Dem who is a former federal prosecutor; state Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Queens); and former Cuomo chief of staff Ben Lawsky.
The Democrats are slated to endorse an attorney general candidate at their May 23-24 convention in Uniondale.
“The state Legislature — not the governor’s office — can vote to appoint someone to fill the vacancy, as it did in 2007 to replace former Comptroller Alan Hevesi. Technically and legally, it would be a joint vote of the Assembly and Senate, which has a combined 213 seats,” the Newsday said. “Practically, however, the Assembly Democrats have the power. That’s because they are the largest single bloc of lawmakers, 104. Together with the Senate Democrats (who number 31), the party has 135 votes. Though the Senate Democrats will get input, Assembly Democrats would need only a few of their colleagues’ votes to win a majority.”