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GOP candidate for AG launches campaign; stops in Syracuse

Ellen Abbott
Republican John Cahill is running for New York state attorney general.

The Republican who wants to be New York state’s attorney general says he’ll be the people’s advocate if elected. John Cahill, an aide to former Gov. George Pataki, made several campaign stops across the state Monday, including Syracuse.

Cahill says education, economic development and integrity in government are top issues he promises to advocate for if he is elected as attorney general.

As far as education goes, he’s a proponent of school choice. But how does the attorney general fit into that issue?

"I see education as the civil rights of our time," Cahill said. "If we are going to expect upward mobility for all of our citizens, for all children, we need an attorney general who will be promoting and fighting for the constitutional right of our children for a sound education.”  

Cahill also said he believes the attorney general can be key in the fight against public corruption.

“There needs to be a watchdog the people trust in our political process," Cahill explained. "Somebody who’s not so aligned with any political party that they would put those political interests in front of the people’s interests.”

Cahill, an attorney and former Department of Environmental Conservation commissioner, says he’ll be the people’s attorney if elected, and would continue the work of the most recent Moreland Commission, which was created to investigate public corruption.

“Fact of the matter is, if we had an attorney general in Albany who was serious about government integrity, we would not have needed a Moreland Commission," Cahill said. "And I will use my power as attorney general to not only ensure the rights of every New Yorker, but to ensure the integrity of the governmental process, whether it’s in Albany, or anywhere in the state.”

Cahill would also support the natural gas drilling process known as hydrofracking as a way to boost the state’s economy. He says the state’s top lawyer plays a role in the controversial energy extracting method.

“It’s a very important role to understand the process, to have input into the process, and then at the end of it to ensure that the regulations are appropriately enforced," Cahill said. "So the attorney general has a very significant role in developing sound environmental and economic policies.”

Cahill is trying to unseat incumbent Democrat Eric Schneiderman.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.