ROCHESTER, N.Y. — New York City Public Advocate Tish James is currently in the midst of a five-way Democratic primary for New York Attorney General.
During a press conference in Rochester, James didn't mention her September opponents or even the Republican she would take on this fall if she's the nominee.
Instead, she made it clear the president is her opposition.
"I will never ever be afraid to challenge an illegitimate president,” she said. “I will never ever be afraid to challenge a bully and particularly someone who takes our rights for granted."
While James said President Donald Trump is using government to further personal interests instead of the people, she acknowledged New York voters are losing faith with their own elected leaders.
She points out, as New York City Public Advocate, she's sued both Democratic Mayor Bill DeBlasio and Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo.
"I will not tolerate corruption, whether it comes from Washington D.C. or it comes from Albany or it comes from Albany or it comes from anywhere,” she said. “The reality is the law will be enforced evenly and fairly."
James accepted the endorsement of a handful of local elected officials including Monroe County Clerk Adam Bello and Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren.
The mayor says she's seen her work and believes she can help the state.
"The fact that she has come to Rochester, talking to the people here, asking for their support, asking for my support, other elected officials support, the people of the city of Rochester's support, is very, very important,” Warren said.
"Rochester, in my mind, represents the salt of the earth,” James said. “The residents are hardworking New Yorkers and they're proud of who they are. They're proud of their city. They're proud of living in this wonderful town."
It was James’ first trip as a candidate to the region but she says the entire state is facing similar issues, many the result of federal policy.
"I don't believe in upstate, downstate. I don't believe in that divide. I believe in one state. It's called New York State," she said.