Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who was forced to resign in disgrace earlier this year following allegations of sexual harassment from nearly a dozen women, is considering a bid for state attorney general, according to a Friday report.
Cuomo, who was serving his third term, was forced out of office in August following a damning investigative report from the current New York attorney general, Letitia James, whose office found that he had harassed 11 women. Cuomo was the state attorney general before his successful run for governor. Both are Democrats.
James has announced plans to run for governor herself next year; she would face off against Gov. Kathy Hochul, who was the lieutenant governor before assuming her current office after Cuomo resigned. She, too, is a Democrat.
The New York Post reported that some who are close to Cuomo have mentioned that he is considering a run for attorney general.
“People in Cuomo’s orbit are tossing it out there,” one source told the paper.
If he were to run, Cuomo would be the most prominent of several Democrats who are lining up to run for state AG. Among them besides James are a few state senators and a couple of district attorneys; two members of Congress; a professor; a state Assembly member; and a former New York superintendent of financial services, City & State New York, a political news site, reported.
Cuomo’s candidacy would be formidable; he still has about $18 million in campaign money, according to The Post, which is much more than James spent to win her race — $1 million.
The former governor held the post of attorney general from 2007-2010. But his spokesman, Rich Azzopardi, said reports that his boss is considering a new run are incorrect.
“There is a ton of idle speculation out there and we can’t control if we continue to take up valuable real estate in people’s heads,” he told The Post.
But in an interview with New York Magazine that was published Friday, Cuomo appeared to not rule out running again for political office.
“I don’t know what the future holds,” he said. “I’m at peace. Look, it’s simple: I trust the people and the truth will out.”
Earlier this year, James’ office launched a criminal investigation into multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against Cuomo by a number of women. Her office found the allegations to be credible and stated unequivocally that Cuomo’s actions were violations of both state and federal law.
However, she declined to press charges, claiming instead that the allegations were civil matters.
Our work is concluded and the document is now public,” she said during a press conference. “And the matter is civil in nature and does not have any criminal consequences.”
“We were tasked with the responsibility of engaging in an investigation. And we have concluded our investigation. And our work is done,” she continued. “And so as it relates to next steps, that’s entirely up to the governor and or the assembly and the general public. But the work of the office of the Attorney General and these special deputies has concluded.”
Earlier, she stated, “The independent investigation has concluded that Gov. Andrew Cuomo sexually arrested multiple women and violated federal and state law.”
“The investigation found that Gov. Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed current and former New York state employees by engaging in unwelcome and non-consensual touching and making numerous offensive comments of a suggestive and sexual nature that created a hostile work environment for women,” she added.
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