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Letitia James wins New York attorney general race

Letitia James won the race for New York attorney general on Tuesday, setting her up to become a key legal combatant to President Donald Trump’s administration.

James, the New York City public advocate, was part of a Democratic sweep of New York’s state-wide elected offices along with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, who all won re-election on Tuesday.

She defeated Republican Keith Wofford, a private attorney who was originally from Buffalo and now lives in Manhattan, and three third-party candidates. The Associated Press call the race at about 11 p.m.

James, 60, will become the first African American woman to be elected to a state-wide office in New York.

DiNapoli, meanwhile, thwarted a Republican challenge from Jonathan Trichter, a financial expert and former Democrat.

James was the favourite to win the seat that opened up when now-former Attorney General Eric Schneiderman abruptly resigned earlier this year after The New Yorker published accounts from multiple women who said Schneiderman physically abused them.

Barbara Underwood was appointed to finish Schneiderman’s term but did not run for a full term.

A former New York City councilwoman, James vowed to continue the Attorney General’s Office’s aggressive posture with the Trump administration, which has resulted in more than 100 legal actions challenging federal decisions or actions, including Trump’s policies on immigration and climate change

James won a four-way Democratic primary in September to advance to Tuesday’s general election.

Wofford, who specialises in bankruptcy law, had accused James of being too cosy with Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other Democratic leaders, vowing to be an independent force in office.

James had about 63 percent of the vote with 87 percent of precincts reporting.

In a statement, Wofford thanked his supporters and wished James well.

“I wish Letitia James the best of luck as New York State attorney general and hope she will be an independent voice of law and order for the state of New York,” he said.

In the comptroller’s race, DiNapoli successfully won a third full term. He was first appointed to the position in 2007.

Trichter, a finance expert, challenged DiNapoli’s handling of the state’s $200 billion pension fund. He was a first-time candidate for office who struggled to raise money and air advertisements, leaving him unknown to most New York voters, according to public-opinion polls.

In a victory statement, DiNapoli thanked New Yorkers for electing him.

“With their renewed support, I will continue to guard the taxpayers of this state against waste and corruption and push to make government more accountable, efficient and transparent,” DiNapoli said.

With 87 percent of precincts reporting, DiNapoli had about 68 percent of the vote.

New Attorney General appointed

The Prime Minister appoints Geoffrey Cox QC MP as Attorney General.

Commenting on his appointment as Attorney General, Geoffrey Cox QC MP has said:

“It is an honour to be appointed Attorney General for England and Wales. I look forward to building on the successes of my predecessor and I want to thank Jeremy Wright for his distinguished four years in the role.”

“The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) is a unique and historic government department. I am proud to be joining the AGO, which has the highest staff engagement score in central Government. I look forward to working with the Solicitor General to play my part in making law and politics work together at the heart of the UK constitution.”

The Prime Minister appointed Geoffrey Cox QC MP as Attorney General on 9 July.

As the Government’s chief legal advisor, Geoffrey Cox will advise the Government and attend Cabinet. The new Attorney General will also oversee the work of the Law Officers Departments which include the independent prosecuting authorities, the Crown Prosecution Service and Serious Fraud Office, and the Government Legal Department and HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate.

Geoffrey Cox will cease all private practice as a barrister, as previous Law Officers have done on appointment.

The Attorney General and Solicitor General also carry out a number of functions in the public interest, such as considering unduly lenient sentences, and take action when there has been a contempt of court. These functions are carried out independently of their role as Government ministers.

Notes Geoffrey Cox QC MP was appointed Attorney General for England and Wales on 9 July 2018. He replaces Jeremy Wright QC MP who is now Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

The Solicitor General, Robert Buckland QC MP, remains in post.

Geoffrey Cox’s Biography:

Geoffrey Cox has been MP for Torridge and West Devon since May 2005. He lives in West Devon, near Tavistock, with his wife, Jeanie and his family. They have a daughter and two sons, Charlotte, James and Jonathan who attended the local school. Geoffrey was born and brought up in the West Country.

Geoffrey Cox QC was called to the Bar in 1982 and made Silk in 2003. He co-founded Thomas More Chambers in 1992.

Geoffrey Cox has appeared in many high profile cases receiving national and international publicity from trial to appeal before the Court of Appeal, the Privy Council and the Supreme Court. His advocacy has been described by a professional court journalist in a recent book as “extremely persuasive”.

Geoffrey is a member of the Criminal Bar Association.