New York Republicans just made history by picking their first ever black Attorney General nominee. The candidate, Manhattan attorney Keith Wofford, is seeking to fill the vacant post after Democrat Eric Schneiderman resigned over domestic violence reports.
"Voters are going to recognize that any machine candidate will lack credibility to clean up collusion and corruption in the government,” Wofford told the Wall Street Journal. “It’s not about party affiliation. It’s about who can do the job.”
Wofford, who was raised in Buffalo, is a Harvard Law School graduate and currently the co-managing partner of the New York City office of the law firm Ropes & Gray.
Joe Holland, one of Wofford's opponents, who is also African-American, congratulated Wofford on his nomination. He added that it is an ideal opportunity to show voters that the Republican Party is more diverse than they may think.
Joe Holland says this is a historic moment for the Republican Party to have an African American candidate for Attorney General (in Wofford) and he says it should help the GOP shed reputation it’s not friendly to minority candidates.— Ryan Whalen (@RyanWhalenCT) May 24, 2018
Gov. Andrew Cuomo asked Schneiderman to resign last month after a New Yorker piece detailed the domestic violence charges against him. Four women accused him of physical assault. Schneiderman rejected the allegations, explaining in a statement that he sometimes "engaged in role-playing and other consensual sexual activity," but has not assaulted anyone. Still, he resigned following massive pressure, even from members of his own party.
Wofford will face New York City Public Advocate Letitia James, who was nominated by New York Democrats on Wednesday. The state's solicitor general Barbara Underwood will serve as acting attorney general until November.