Republican attorney announces bid to challenge James for New York attorney general position | New York

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(The Center Square) – Republican Michael Henry is the first announced candidate for the New York Attorney General’s post currently held by Democrat Letitia James.

Henry, a commercial litigation attorney based in Queens, came out swinging in his initial news release, criticizing James for her investigation into nursing home deaths due to the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. James began an investigation in March 2020 and released her report in January 2021, which concluded that nursing home deaths were underreported.

“As people died, the Attorney General was silent and it took months for her to issue so much as a report on nursing homes,” Henry said in the news release. “She still refuses to launch a criminal investigation into the matter after petty bickering with the state comptroller over whose responsibility it is to hold a corrupt governor accountable. And the sad fact of the matter is that this provides no comfort to families who lost loved ones and no accountability.”

James is currently at odds with Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently over a special investigation into allegations of sexual harassment by the current and former members of the governor’s staff. Last week Cuomo questioned the integrity of the investigators appointed by James. Aides to Cuomo suggested James was investigating the claims because she was plotting a gubernatorial bid, according to The New York Times.

James has not said publicly whether she will see another term as attorney general or run for governor. She won the office in 2018, defeating three Democratic candidates before winning over Republican Keith Wofford in the general election. During her tenure, she filed a civil suit against the National Rifle Association that is still moving through the courts.

Henry called James a “grandstander” and questioned her record on crime.

“New York faces a crime crisis, but the current Attorney General spent her time in office suing the NYPD and introducing legislation that would make it harder for law enforcement to do their jobs,” Henry said in a statement. “How can you be the chief law enforcement officer in the state when you don’t believe in law enforcement?”

According to Henry’s bio, “he has appeared as both a legal and political analyst on local and national television and talk radio programs.” Henry also said he has worked with political candidates and political organizations throughout the country.

The New York State Board of Elections has not announced qualifying dates for the 2022 elections.

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