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The abrupt resignation of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman over abuse allegations Monday set Albany into a frenzy, with legislators now expected to appoint a replacement before a September Democratic primary that has suddenly became a wide-open race.
Schneiderman’s reign as the top lawman in the state will officially end on Tuesday, and a rare joint session will be held in Albany to choose his temporary replacement, as dictated by the state Constitution.
Democrats, led by Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, have the majority in a joint session and will hold sway over who gets the position.
The session had not been announced as of midnight and it was not clear when the meeting would take place.
Meanwhile, Sept. 13 is primary day for state offices in New York. Schneiderman had been a lock for the AG nomination until The New Yorker published a story Monday detailing multiple abuse allegations by women with whom he had romantic relationships.
Candidates for the Democratic nomination for attorney general can be nominated at state party committee meetings over the next month or file petitions with voter signatures in June to get on the ballot.
Potential candidates for the Democratic primary include city Public Advocate Letitia James, Councilman Dan Garodnick and Queens state senator Mike Gianaris, several Albany insiders said.
Other possible candidates include Congresswoman Kathleen Rice, Fordham law professor Zephyr Teachout and state Sen. Todd Kaminsky.
A Republican opponent, Manny Alicandro, had just officially launched his candidacy on Monday.
After The New Yorker’s report, Alicandro said, “If true, [Schneiderman] is a disgrace and wholly unfit for the role of New York state’s chief legal officer. I believe the accusers.”
Schneiderman, 63, who won a state Senate seat representing a Manhattan district in 1998, became attorney general in 2010.
He has been a critic of President Trump, and has been part of several efforts to push back against White Houseactions, such as the rescinding of DACA protection for immigrants brought into the United States illegally as children.
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