John Cahill, the former chief adviser to Republican Gov. George Pataki, announced Sunday that he’s running for state attorney general against Democratic incumbent Eric Schneiderman.
Alluding to at least two previous attorneys general, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and former Gov. Eliot Spitzer, Cahill said the office has become a political stepping stone to the governor’s mansion.
“We see that this leads to decisions based on the special interests, political interests and self-interests of the attorney general rather than what is in the best interests of the people of New York,” Cahill said from his hometown of Yonkers.
Schneiderman, 59, is running for a second term as attorney general. He is looking forward to talking with voters about what he’s done in office, spokesman Peter Ajemian said Sunday.
The 55-year-old Cahill emphasized access to a good school as a civil rights issue. He noted limited space in charter schools, “renewed assaults” against charters and Albany’s failure to provide education tax credits to strengthen schools and give parents choices.
“The AG has not only the standing but the obligation to stand up for the children of our state,” Cahill said, adding that it’s time to empower parents and children, not bureaucracies. “What New York students need is a good lawyer. I will be their lawyer.”
Pataki was governor from 1995 to 2006. Cahill and Pataki later founded a consulting firm on environmental and energy issues. Both are listed as counsel with the Chadbourne & Parke law firm in Manhattan.
Cahill was Pataki’s secretary and chief of staff from 2002 to 2006. He was general counsel, then commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Conservation from 1995 to 2001.