QUEENS — Assemblymember Clyde Vanel has announced he is running for Attorney General in next year’s election. The Haitian-American politician aims to replace incumbent Letitia James, who is vacating the post to run for New York State governor.
If successful, Vanel would become the first Haitian-American to hold statewide office in New York.
Vanel represents Assembly District 33 in Queens, which encompasses the neighborhoods of Cambria Heights, St. Albans, Hollis, Queens Village, Bellerose and parts of Floral Park — which is home to thousands of Haitian families. He announced his candidacy Dec. 6, joining eight other candidates in the race so far.
“It’s really important to understand that the working people of New York are going through a difficult time now and it’s really, really challenging,” Vanel said during the televised interview where he announced. “I am from the working people. I know what they’re going through.”
Vanel said if elected as attorney general, he would address such key issues as economic justice, public safety, the foreclosure crisis, environmental justice, access to affordable broadband, and consumer protection.
Vane grew up in Cambria Heights, Queens, one of 10 children. He was elected to the state assembly in 2016, where he chairs the Assembly Subcommittee on Internet and New Technology.
He also holds a J.D. from Boston University School of Law and owns Vanel Law Firm, in addition to having a pilot’s license.
“As Attorney General, I will be guided by the values my parents taught me and that all working class New Yorkers hold dear,” he said in a press release. “We must help those who need it the most by pursuing justice, fairness, and equity, and as the People’s Lawyer I will always strive to meet that call to action.”
Vanel said he plans to step down from the assembly to run his campaign.
James announced she was running for governor on Nov. 8 of next year after former governor Andrew Cuomo stepped down in disgrace for harassment.