on the cover

On the Cover of New York: How Letitia James Wields Her Power

Photo: Mark Peterson/Redux Pictures

For New York Magazine’s February 28, 2022 - March 13, 2022 issue, writer-at-large Rebecca Traister takes readers inside Letitia James’s political journey – exploring her operatic relationship with Andrew Cuomo, who demanded her loyalty, and her investigation into Donald Trump’s business practices. “Everyone expected that she would run for governor, primarying Cuomo or, after his resignation, his former lieutenant governor and now replacement, Kathy Hochul,” writes Traister in the piece. “When James finally entered the 2022 gubernatorial race in late October 2021, it was in hurried and chaotic fashion… .like she was showing up to the race already out of breath and trying to catch up. Six weeks later, James announced that she was withdrawing, explaining that she wanted instead to pursue a second term in the AG’s office and devote her attention to the big commitments in front of her.”

“I’ve wanted to write about Letitia James for years,” says Traister. “I have known her as a fixture in Brooklyn politics for the past two decades. I’ve watched her rise with much interest.” During a moment when both Trump and Cuomo have intensified their campaigns against James, Traister was interested in exploring fundamental questions of political power and independence. “Big questions came up as I looked at James’s career. What is political power for? Who feels entitled to it? What do you have to do to get it, and what do you do with it once you have it? You can’t think or talk about her career without really having to wrestle with these questions.”

Attorney General Letitia James was photographed for New York by Mark Peterson, an editorial photographer who has shot for the magazine in the past, including an abortion rights rally, and Bill de Blasio.

On the Cover of New York: How Letitia James Wields Her Power