ALBANY, N.Y. (Legal Newsline) - The five-way race for the Democratic nomination for New York attorney general was a close one, with state Sen. Eric Schneiderman pulling out the victory.
Newsday declared Schneiderman the winner early Wednesday with 89 percent of precincts reporting. Schneiderman bested Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice, who finished second.
Rice conceded the race to Schneiderman, stating, "There were always more similarities than differences between the five Democrats who vied heartily for this office, and now is the time for party unity to ensure that the principle we all hold dear - that government is a force for good in people's lives - continues to thrive in the people's lawyer," according to the New York Daily News.
Schneiderman now faces Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan, the Republican candidate, on Nov. 2.
The other candidates in the Democratic primary were attorney Sean Coffey, former insurance superintendent and assistant attorney general Eric Dinallo and Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, who conceded early.
Schneiderman, from Manhattan, gave up his legislative seat after 12 years to run. He led the investigation this year that forced the expulsion of Sen. Hiram Monserrate, a fellow Democrat convicted of misdemeanor assault in a domestic incident.
New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo hadn't formally endorsed anyone in the race.
Coffey, a former naval aviator and assistant U.S. attorney from Westchester County, won major shareholder settlements from failed telecommunications giant WorldCom and from JPMorgan.
Dinallo, from Manhattan, headed the attorney general's Investor Protection Bureau that developed the strategy under former New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer to use New York's anti-fraud Martin Act to go after big financial companies. He teaches business ethics as a visiting professor at New York University.
Brodsky, also from Westchester County, gave up his legislative seat to run. He authored legislation to require more accountability from the more than 700 state and local authorities that use public funds and provide quasi-governmental services like mass transit and economic development.
Schneiderman now looks to replace Cuomo, who is the Democratic nominee for New York governor.
Meanwhile, Buffalo developer Carl Paladino dealt a primary defeat to Rick Lazio, the former Brightwaters congressman and choice of the state Republican committee.
Paladino, declared the winner by the AP, will now face Cuomo in the November election.
From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.