Voter Guide: New York Attorney General Race

Eric Schneiderman (D) vs. Dan Donovan (R)

The race to become New York's next Attorney General is a contest between Democrat Eric Schneiderman, a current State Senator, and Republican Dan Donovan, current Staten Island District Attorney 

Eric Schneiderman (D)

WNYC Coverage of Eric Schneiderman

The Brian Lehrer Show: Live: Attorney General Candidate Debate (September 8, 2010)

Five Dems for NY AG Coming Down to Wire (September 8, 2010)

Summer on the Campaign Trail with Attorney General Hopeful Senator Schneiderman (August 4, 2010)

Fast Facts:

  • Hometown: New York, NY
  • Graduated from Amherst College with a BA in English and Asian Studies; graduated with honors from Harvard Law School
  • Elected to the State Senate in 1998 to represent the 31st District, which includes the Upper West Side and parts of the Bronx
  • Served as Deputy Sheriff in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, for two years just after graduating from college
  • While in the Senate, he helped to reform the Rockefeller Drug Laws to provide drug treatment centers as an alternative to prison in cases where non-violent drug addicts are defendants
  • Served as lead counsel to the public transit watchdog Straphangers Campaign in 2001 and 2003
  • Serves as the national co-chair of Legislators Against Illegal Guns
  • Endorsed by Attorney General Andrew Cuomo 


  • Pledges that his top priority would be to restore the public's trust in state government
  • Wants to build regional environmental alliances to help protect New York's environment
  • Vows to fight illegal guns and gangs, and wants to create interstate and multi-state approaches to taking on illegal guns
  • Vows to be a vocal advocate for abortion rights
  • Wants to undertake industry-wide investigations to stop economic corruption
  • Promises to fight for marriage equality

Other Links

Eric Schneiderman's Campaign Site

Attorney General Candidates Set Out to Sharpen Distinctions (New York Times, September 15, 2010)

Dan Donovan (R)

WNYC Coverage of Dan Donovan

Staten Island DA Asks Voters for Big Promotion (September 28, 2010)

Donovan Distances Himself from Independence Party (July 22, 2010)

Fast Facts

  • BA in Criminal Justice from St. John's University
  • JD with honors from Fordham University School of Law
  • Worked as prosecutor for eight years under the Manhattan DA
  • Served as Chief of staff for Staten Island Borough President Guy V. Molinari from 1996 to 2002
  • Appointed Deputy Staten Island Borough President in 2002
  • Elected Richmond County DA in 2003, becoming the first Republican to do so in New York City in over 50 years
  • Elected President of the New York State District Attorney's Association in 2008


  • Believes the Attorney General should have original jurisdiction over all cases of political corruption; investigating legislators for conflicts of interest will be a priority
  • Favors trying accused terrorists in military tribunals far from New York City, rather than in civilian courts
  • Believes federal government, not the states, should be responsible for immigration reform laws
  • Advocates "civil confinement" to keep sex offenders in mental institutions for an indefinite period of time beyond their statutory sentences, until they are deemed fit for release
  • Supports improved use of technology in enforcing orders of protection for domestic violence cases
  • Vows to crack down on Medicaid, financial, and mortgage fraud

Other Links

Dan Donovan's Campaign Site

Bloomberg Praises Donovan, Warns Against an AG with "A Social Agenda" (New York Observer, September 23, 2010)

Attorney General Candidates Set Out to Sharpen Distinctions (New York Times, September 15, 2010)

Donovan Discusses His Bid for Attorney General (City Room Blog, New York Times, May 17, 2010)

Related Races in New York

Governor: Andrew Cuomo vs. Carl Paladino

Congressional District 1: Tim Bishop vs. Randy Altschuler

Congressional District 13: Michael McMahon vs. Michael Grimm

Congressional District 19: John Hall vs. Nan Hayworth