New York Democrats will choose their state attorney general candidate in the November elections from among five candidates in Tuesday's primary.
Current officeholder Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat, is running for governor.
With government reform and corruption leading concerns among New Yorkers, all five candidates have vowed to fight government corruption. Toward that goal, the best choice for the Democratic nomination is attorney Sean Coffey, a trial lawyer and former federal prosecutor in Manhattan.
Mr. Coffey, the son of Irish immigrants, is a 1978 graduate of Annapolis military academy and former Navy flight officer who attended Georgetown Univeristy Law Center at night while working as a military assistant to then-Vice President George H.W. Bush from 1984 to 1986.
He resigned from active duty in 1987, but continued to serve in the Navy Reserve until 2004. He joined a private law firm before becoming an assistant U.S. attorney for New York's Southern District in 1991. Upon returning to private practice in 1995, he first defended Fortune 500 companies, but later switched sides to become an attorney with a New York law firm representing plaintiff investors suing corporations.
Perhaps his best known case was a $6 billion settlement from WorldCom on behalf of investors, including the New York State Common Retirement Fund. He retired from private practice to pursue the attorney general position.
While such cases have earned him the description of Wall Street's "nemesis," he still recognizes the importance of Wall Street to New York state in creating jobs and generating tax revenue.
Unlike the other Democratic candidates with prior links to state government, Mr. Coffey is the outsider in the race who should not be deterred by personal loyalties when pursuing corruption cases.
The Times recommends Sean Coffey as Democratic candidate for attorney general.