- New York Attorney General Letitia James said she will drop her campaign for governor.
- "I have come to the conclusion that I must continue my work as attorney general," James said in a statement.
- "There are a number of important investigations and cases that are underway, and I intend to finish the job. I am running for reelection to complete the work New Yorkers elected me to do," she said.
New York Attorney General Letitia James said Thursday she will drop her campaign for governor, and will instead run to be reelected in her current role.
"I have come to the conclusion that I must continue my work as attorney general," James said in a statement.
"There are a number of important investigations and cases that are underway, and I intend to finish the job. I am running for reelection to complete the work New Yorkers elected me to do," she said.
The surprise turnaround came less than two months after James announced her candidacy for governor in 2022, setting up a likely Democratic primary fight against Gov. Kathy Hochul.
Hochul was not elected to the office and has only served as governor since August, when she replaced Andrew Cuomo after he resigned following an investigation that found he had sexually harassed multiple women.
That probe, and the damning report that it produced, came from James' office.
James has garnered national attention for her leading roles in other high-profile fights, including an ongoing effort to dissolve the National Rifle Association over allegations of fraud and self dealing.
She is also pushing forward with investigations into former President Donald Trump's business empire. A civil probe into possible fraud by the Trump Organization took a new turn earlier Thursday, when multiple outlets reported that James wants Trump to appear for a deposition next month.
James' detractors, including Cuomo and Trump, have accused her of abusing her office for political purposes.
Hochul had announced plans to run for governor in 2022 just after Cuomo resigned, and before she took over to complete the last 15 months of his term.
"This is a very bad day for Donald Trump and the NRA," Hochul said at a press conference Thursday afternoon, calling James "one of the finest attorney generals in the country" and expressing support for her reelection.
"I'm honored to serve as governor and look forward to serving, running together with Attorney General Tish James," Hochul added.
Senior Democratic Party leaders in New York had been privately questioning for weeks whether James was going to be able to raise enough money to compete with Hochul, according to people familiar with the matter.
A number of big money donors had signaled to James and her allies that they were sticking with the governor, these people previously told CNBC. These people declined to be named in order to speak freely about these conversations.
Despite the initially chilly reception from some donors, James had pushed forward trying to woo them in a series of private strategy calls.
Last month, James and her team had been scheduled to hold a private call with people described as "our biggest supporters" on an invitation obtained by CNBC.
The previously unreported event was billed to lay out James' "vision for the office" and "give a presentation discussing the lay of the land for the race ahead."
Meanwhile, a recent Siena College poll showed James up to 18 percentage points behind Hochul.