September 14, 2018

New York Daily News

ALBANY – Hours before the polls closed Thursday night for the Democratic state attorney general primary, Republican candidate Keith Wofford kicked off a hefty $3.25 million statewide television ad campaign.

The ad, which his campaign says will run for several weeks on broadcast and cable TV, is designed to introduce the little-known Wofford, a Manhattan corporate lawyer, to voters by highlighting his upbringing in Buffalo.

“Being in this neighborhood really reminds me why I got into this race,” Wofford says in the ad. “People who are all working together for the same thing, which is to try to make better lives for their kids.

“But the headwinds have been tough. Money goes into our government and doesn’t go where it’s supposed to go.”

Wofford vows in the ad that if elected attorney general, he will tackle Albany corruption.

“Because as attorney general, you can stop the politicians from ripping people off, and you can start the government doing what they’re supposed to do with your money,” he said.

The ad buy is significant for a first-time candidate who in July reported having raised just over $1 million in his first few weeks in the race.

Wofford will get some help raising money from the financial sector when former AIG chairman Hank Greenberg, The Home Depot founder Ken Langone and billionaire Paul Singer host a fundraising lunch for the GOP candidate on Oct. 1.

Tickets range from $5,000 to the maximum $44,000 contribution.

Wofford on Thursday also unveiled a three-minute biographical video on his campaign website.

He will square off on Nov. 6 against Democrat Letitia James, the New York City Public Advocate who won the four-way primary Thursday against Fordham Law Prof. Zephyr Teachout, Hudson Valley Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, and former Gov. Cuomo and Hillary Clinton aide Leecia Eve.

Wofford and James are both vying to become the state’s first black attorney general.

Wofford has an uphill climb. Not only do Democrats outnumber Republicans in New York by a 2 to 1 margin, but the GOP has not won a statewide race since George Pataki was elected to a third term as governor in 2002.

The last Republican to win a state attorney general’s race was Dennis Vacco in 1994. He served one term before losing to Democrat Eliot Spitzer.