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Getting to Know Politics: New York Attorney General Candidates

By Elizabeth Fitzgerald

Republican Party
Daniel M. Donovan Jr. is a Republican from Staten Island currently serving as the District Attorney for Richmond County, New York (Staten Island.)
Earning his jury’s doctorate in 1988 from Fordham University, Donovan went on to become an assistant district attorney in the office of Robert M. Morgenthau until 1996.
In 2003, Donovan won the Chief Assistant District Attorney race against David Lehr, earning 53% of the votes. One of the key parts of his platform was to start the county’s first witness protection program.  His office also led the city’s prosecutors with the highest felony conviction rate in many of the years since he took office.
Donovan was re-elected in 2007 with over 68% of the vote, defeating local Democratic attorney, Michael Ryan.  On May 17th, 2010, Donovan announced he would be running for New York State Attorney General.  With 60 percent of the delegates votes at the convention and no primary opponent, Donovan became the obvious nominee of the Republican Party. A week prior he received the endorsement of the Conservative Party of New York.
Democrat Party

As for the Democratic Party, they have a bit of a different race. There are actually five people running for this office and there has yet to be an announcement for the primary candidate.
The first name on the ballot is State Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, who was involved in the creation of the School Tax Relief Program (STAR) which became a law in 1996. He was also the co-sponsor of state legislation intended to eliminate the state tax on clothing.
There is also state Senator Eric Schneiderman who graduated with honors from Harvard.  He went on to become chief sponsor of the Rockefeller Drug Law reforms, which were passed and signed into law in 2009. His legislative priorities include enacting meaningful ethics reform in Albany, transforming the criminal justice system to make it more fair and safe, and cracking down on the perpetrators of consumer fraud.
A third candidate is Sean Coffey, a retired Navy Captain and former federal prosecutor.  Coffey’s campaign goals include minimizing political corruption and finding a way to advocate for veterans.
There is also former New York State Insurance Superintendent Eric Dinallo.  His campaign pitch is that he is already familiar with the office, having served under then-Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.  However, Dinallo says he intends to remake the office so that it reallocates resources to “focus on consumer — and investor-based cases that go to people’s everyday financial lives — their phone bills, their credits cards, their mortgages.”
Finally, there is Nassau County District Attorney, Kathleen Rice. In 2007, Rice became the first local District Attorney in New York history to form a Medicaid Fraud Unit.  Not to mention, in 2009 she ranked third most powerful person on Long Island by the Long island Press.

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