State Senator Shelley Mayer is jumping into a potentially crowded field of Democrats running for the office of New York Attorney General in 2022 – that is currently held by Letitia “Tish” James – who announced her run for New York Governor. The Yonkers Democrat – who has represented the 37th state Senate district since 2018 – said her legal experience distinguishes her from other possible candidates running for the spot.
“I believe that I am the right candidate for New York Attorney General at this moment in our great state. I am a fighter and I am doggedly persistent, but I also listen and I am open to hearing other points of view,” Sen Mayer shared. “I have successfully engaged with various constituencies in a way that brings people together and creates a big tent of engagement and activism. In the various stages of my career in public service—as an Assistant Attorney General in the New York State Attorney General’s office, as Counsel to the NYS Senate Democratic Majority and Minority, as a NYS Assemblymember, and now as a NYS Senator—my singular focus has always been to make lives better for all New Yorkers.”
Mayer knows the AGs office well, she spent 12 years in senior leadership roles in the New York Attorney General’s Office and served as an assistant attorney general. She worked in the civil rights bureau; as chief of the Westchester regional office; as legislative liaison to the attorney general; and finally as senior advisor to the attorney general.
“As Chair of the NYS Senate Education Committee, and with the support of Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, I fought hard to ensure New York State’s public schools finally received the funds they deserved under the law,” Mayer continues. “During the height of COVID, I pushed to get thousands of unemployment claims addressed and resolved, and to this day I still assist with getting New Yorkers’ claims rectified. I also worked with Attorney General Leticia James to secure $2.7 million in funding owed under the law to over 250 Doral Arrowwood workers who were terminated on Christmas Eve of 2019, without the notice and process to which they were entitled.
Other Democrats rumored to be eyeing the seat include Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz, Senate Deputy Majority Leader Mike Gianaris, attorney and Fordham University law professor Zephyr Teachout, former assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Dan Goldman, Rep. Kathleen Rice from Long Island and former superintendent of the state Department of Financial Services Maria Vullo.
“My relentless and unwavering pursuit to improve the lives of my neighbors and constituents in ways big and small is at the heart of my campaign for New York Attorney General. I pledge that if elected, I will use the office’s authority and powerful tools to be of even greater service to New Yorkers. I began my career fighting for the rights of older women who had been fired from their waitressing jobs because of age discrimination, and fighting to protect the rights of those who need help has been a central tenet of my life. I will continue that on behalf of New York’s consumers, our union brothers and sisters, our immigrant communities, our underserved rural communities, our students, our senior citizens, and the most vulnerable citizens of our state. I will fight to expedite fair prescription drug prices and affordable homecare, and to address the all too real consequences of climate change already affecting so many New Yorkers across the state. There is much work ahead of us but I embrace the challenge and know that together we can continue to make New York State a wonderful place to raise our families, to work and to have a good quality of life. I have the experience, judgement, and legal skills to use this position for the common good and actually get things accomplished.”
Westchester is one of the counties that is likely to play a pivotal role in deciding the winners of next year’s statewide races – and Mayer is banking that’s just the type of political math that could give her an advantage.