Next week, Republicans and Democrats in the Legislature will begin the process of vetting candidates for attorney general, eventually replacing disgraced former AG Eric Schneiderman. The interviews will be open to the public.
"I think this is actually a good thing," said Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. "With the conventions coming, people who want to be attorney general in both parties can put themselves on an early display."
The leading candidate for a legislative appointment is New York City Public Advocate Tish James, who has been calling lawmakers to gain their support. James also has the backing of the Working Families Party. But Speaker Carl Heastie would not weigh in on who the legislature could appoint.
"I've asked people to not discuss candidates, because that's not what it's about," Heastie said. "It's more about understanding the legislative prerogative that the constitution gave in these vacancies."
Meanwhile, Republicans are calling for Acting Attorney General Barbara Underwood to remain in place through the November general election.
"I believe it's very important to remove the politics out of this, and the way to do that is to allow the acting AG to complete the term and have the people of the state, not the legislature, select who is going to be the new AG in January," said Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R - Staten Island).
And in the Senate, GOP women are calling on Schneiderman to donate the $8.5 million in a campaign account to organizations that support survivors of domestic violence.
"For someone who has been an advocate for women, I think he really could and should put that money where it could do some good," said Sen. Betty Little (R - Queensbury).
But Schneiderman may need that money for legal representation. He's hired defense attorney Isabelle Kirshner as Governor Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday appointed Nassau County DA Madeline Singas as special prosecutor to investigate allegations of domestic violence and drug use.
"It makes sense that someone independent who has been removed from the politics is looking into this and see where it takes us," Malliotakis said.
On the Republican side, sources Wednesday said Staten Island Senator Andrew Lanza is considering a bid for the AG's office.