Victory for Schneiderman
Cyril Josh Barker | 4/12/2011, 5:28 p.m.
Eric Schneiderman is "all revved up and ready to go."
The Upper Manhattan senator is one step closer to officially becoming attorney general for New York State, replacing Andrew Cuomo, who is running for governor.
Getting the official word at 1 a.m., Schneiderman addressed hundreds of his supporters at the Grand Hyatt hotel in Midtown Tuesday night. As results came in through the night, supporters let out cheers as the numbers got close, leading many to believe there would be runoff.
At the 11th hour, the election numbers mirrored recent poll numbers that put Schneiderman and Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice neck and neck. However, the final tally said Schneiderman had edged out Rice 34 percent to 32 percent.
The opponents of the two faired well in a five-way race that included attorney Sean Coffey, who received 16 percent of the votes; Richard Brodsky, who received nearly 10 percent of votes; and Eric Dinallo, who finished out with 8 percent of votes.
Schneiderman's political network was evident by the guest list at his victory party. Making their way through the crowd were City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and Congressman Jerry Nadler.
Schneiderman made support of Black leadership a centerpiece of his campaign, and there was a who's who of Black politicians at his victory party, including Gov. David Paterson, State Sens. John Sampson and Eric Adams and City Council members James Sanders and Mathieu Eugene.
"Eric Schneiderman has as much integrity and concern for the diversity of anyone I have ever met in my life," Paterson told the AmNews. "He is a dear friend, but still, I could swear it on a Bible: Eric Schneiderman will clean up corruption and fight for ethics reform as attorney general."
In his victory speech, Schneiderman thanked his opponents, supporters and volunteers. The crowd was still electrified even at 1:30 a.m. as he spoke about the importance for the Democratic Party to prevent the election of Carl Paladino and keep the governorship and attorney general Democratic.
"I am humbled to stand here as your nominee to be the next attorney general of the state of New York," he said. "This was an improbable victory. Other candidates had much more money. Two months ago, another candidate was leading us by 20 points in the polls."
Committing himself to being a superior attorney general and winning in November, Schneiderman pledged to fight for the underdog and make sure that all New Yorkers get justice, regardless of where they live or their level of income. He also vowed reform in Albany.
"No one will work harder everyday to clean up the mess in Albany," he said. "To me, cleaning up Albany is not just a campaign slogan, it's been one of the great causes of my career."
Leading up to the general election in November, Schneiderman said his campaign would layout an agenda for equal, independent and progressive justice.
Schneiderman faces his Republican candidate, Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan, in November. On Wednesday, Schneiderman made his first move on his opponent in the form of a letter by challenging Donovan to a debate on plans to police Wall Street.
"We believe voters will be well served by a positive, substantive discussion of how these two candidates' visions for the office differ," Schneiderman spokesman James Freedland said about the debate. "While Mr. Donovan has vowed to essentially leave Wall Street alone, Eric Schneiderman believes that New Yorkers across the state deserve an attorney general who will aggressively but fairly root out corruption, even if it's among the rich and powerful."