Underwood told state lawmakers that she's not interested in running for office November and intends only to serve out the rest of Schneiderman's term if the Legislature appoints her interim attorney general. "I have pursued the cause of justice in the courts, without fear or favor, for all of my professional life", she said, reading from a prepared statement.
"G$3 iven the timing of Eric Schneiderman's resignation and the current state law prohibiting candidates from seeking two offices simultaneously, I have determined that I can not run for Attorney General at this time", she said.
Rep. Kathleen Rice on Tuesday withdrew from consideration to become the next state attorney general.
The office remains a desirable one for any ambitious Democrat in NY given the office's expansive powers, ability to garner favorable headlines and its clear stepping stone to becoming governor.
"I don't see a drastic change; I would see my role as continuing to look at the cases proposed", Underwood said.
"I won't be distracted as anyone who is going to run would be by the whole process of fundraising and politicking", she said.
Underwood will serve until the state Legislature appoints an interim attorney general, who, in turn, will serve until voters elect a new attorney general this fall.
Assembly Codes Committee Chair Joe Lentol, the highest-ranking Assembly Democrat at the public interview, could not say whether Underwood would ultimately be chosen to fill the job. "We want to interview her and every other person". "There's some truth to that, but I can assure you that is not who I am".
Underwood has said she will not run in November. "I know the work of the office already", she said. Republicans have criticized Cuomo for chiming in on the attorney general selection process, saying the state's top legal agency must remain independent from the governor's office.