New York Legislature Interviews Potential Successors To State Attorney General

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Several potential candidates for state attorney general are opting out of what the Assembly leadership is calling a transparent process to temporarily fill the vacancy created by the abrupt departure of Eric Schneiderman in the wake of devastating sexual misconduct allegations. "But we're going to listen to each of the candidates and I'll make a decision when I've heard from each and every one". The first person up was the acting Attorney General, Barbara Underwood.

Schneiderman resigned last week after The New Yorker magazine reported four women allege that he physically and verbally abused them while dating.

Barbara Underwood, thrust into the job as NY state's chief legal officer when Eric Schneiderman abruptly resigned amid allegations he abused woman, said Tuesday she won't seek election to the attorney general's position.

Still, Underwood, who interviewed with the panel on Tuesday and has the support of Cuomo and several of the interview committee members, looks like the interim candidate to beat. Schneiderman has denied the accusations.

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"I am not a politician", Underwood said. She said that Cuomo had also made it clear in a conversation that he doesn't want her to seek election, but rather be the interim attorney general until December 31. She wants to stay in the role until someone new is elected and sworn in, vowing not to run herself.

"I think it's an understatement to say that none of us expected to be sitting here today for this objective", Underwood told senators and Assembly members gathered Tuesday at a meeting room in the state Capitol complex. O'Donnell of Manhattan, actress Rosie O'Donnell's brother, and Elizabeth Holtzman, a former congresswoman and New York City comptroller. Michael Gianaris, a Queens Democrat.

A bipartisan, bicameral group of state lawmakers Tuesday interviewed seven people interested in filling the attorney general post until November.

James registered Monday with the state Board of Elections for a campaign committee to raise money for a run for attorney general. Republicans have criticized Cuomo for chiming in on the attorney general selection process, saying the state's top legal agency must remain independent from the governor's office.