Maloney is considering bid for attorney general (updated)

A source close to Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney said Wednesday that the third-term Democrat is considering running for New York attorney general in the wake of Eric Schneiderman’s resignation, a surprise this week that has set off a burst of competition for an office that was not on the political radar.

The source said Maloney has made calls to explore a potential run, a decision he would have to make before the state Democratic Committee holds its convention on Long Island in two weeks. Numerous names of potential Democratic candidates have been floated since Monday night, when Schneiderman abruptly quit after the New Yorker magazine reported allegations from former girlfriends who said he had beaten them.

Maloney, an attorney who held political posts in Washington and Albany and was working for a law firm before he was elected to Congress in 2012, has shown interest in the job in the past, having competed with Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other contenders in a Democratic primary for attorney general in 2006 that Cuomo won.

Maloney already filed his petitions to run for a fourth term in the House of Representatives. But state law would allow him to decline those petitions if he’s nominated to run for attorney general. If that were to happen, the people listed on his congressional petitions as his vacancy committee would name another Democrat to run for his House seat, according to state Board of Elections spokesman John Conklin.

Maloney is set to compete this fall with Orange County Legislator Jim O’Donnell, a Goshen Republican, for New York’s 18th Congressional District seat. He had $3.2 million in his campaign account as of March 31.

Schneiderman’s downfall also has stirred Republicans’ interest in a race the party had all but written off. Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler, a Republican elected to a second term in November, said Tuesday he had turned down requests to consider running for attorney general.

“I was asked by various state party officials to consider it, both just today and in that past,” Hoovler told the Times Herald-Record’s Heather Yakin. “​I’ve declined. I still have a lot of things I want to accomplish as district attorney here in Orange County.”​
(Update: O’Donnell, Maloney’s opponent in the congressional race, rebuked his interest in the attorney general’s job, asserting in a press release on Thursday that Maloney, a former aide to President Bill Clinton, previously expected to return to the White House to work in a Hillary Clinton administration. “It’s clear to anyone watching that Sean Maloney has zero interest in continuing to serve the people of the 18th Congressional District,” O’Donnell said.)

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    Chris McKenna

    Chris McKenna covers Orange County government and politics for the Times Herald-Record. He has been a reporter at the newspaper since 1999. Read Full

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