Rep. Rice withdraws from contention in attorney general race

Letitia James declares intent to run for NY state attorney general

Modal Trigger Letitia James Natan Dvir

The news comes days after she withdrew her name from consideration for appointment as interim AG to temporarily replace Eric Schneiderman - who resigned in disgrace amid allegations he physically abused four women.

Underwood told state lawmakers that she's not interested in running for office November and intends only to serve out the rest of Schneiderman's term if the Legislature appoints her interim attorney general.

"I think all that will help me do this job", Underwood said. State lawmakers can appoint a successor to finish out the term of former Attorney General Eric Schneiderman before elections this fall.

Another concern for Rice was she could face scrutiny for potential campaign finance violations if she ran for attorney general. Among those interviewed Tuesday were Assemblymembers Tom Abinanti and Danny O'Donnell, and former Congresswoman and New York City Comptroller Elizabeth Holtzman.

"I won't be distracted as anyone who is going to run would be by the whole process of fundraising and politicking", she said.

The State Legislature on Tuesday was scheduled to begin interviewing more than a dozen candidates to fill the role on an interim basis until December 31, when Schneiderman's term ends.

The special committee will be chaired by Assemblyman Joseph Lentol, D-Brooklyn. "We want to interview her and every other person".

"I definitely think it should be an open process", Barclay said "There's a concern whenever the legislature gets to make an appointment to a statewide office - you don't want a backroom deal".

Rather, Rice said she would run for a third term in Congress. "I know the work of the office already", she said.

"It's time to put people ahead of politics, and ultimately let the voters decide who their next attorney general will be", Flanagan said in a statement.

Republicans who lead the state Senate favor Underwood, as does Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

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