“A number of people approached me for a higher position,” she said, although she repeatedly insisted that she was focusing on her current job.
But when asked to characterize these conversations, Ms. James did not hesitate.
“That I should consider it because of my leadership, my ability to speak the truth to power, my experience and my ability to unite the state,” she said. “I am still focused on the Attorney General’s office, but I thank them for their comments. “
Her comments came after she briefly spoke at a Brooklyn Democratic Party rally at Junior’s, a restaurant known for its cheesecake and political events.
The scene there offered one of the most striking illustrations to date of how the Democratic primary began to take shape last week, with the nascent contours of an election campaign.
Ms Hochul, the state’s first female governor, was also in attendance, part of her hectic public schedule as she also acts aggressively to try and consolidate a huge fundraising advantage ahead of the primary. . She spoke in front of Ms James and Jumaane D. Williams, the New York City public attorney, who announced this week that he has formed an exploratory committee and is considering his own race. (“Great job as a public defender!” Ms. Hochul shouted wryly.)
Ms Hochul, Ms James and Mr Williams walked around a room filled with party activists and elected leaders clamoring for selfies and hugs between bites of scrambled eggs and sips of coffee cups at the precarious balance. Mayor Bill de Blasio, who also appears to be a runner-up, also passed by, a day after he and the others walked to a rally of Democrats in the Bronx.
Ms James may not ultimately challenge Ms Hochul. She has no track record as a strong fundraiser, although her allies are hopeful that as America’s first potential black female governor, she would gain national attention and support if she did come forward. She would also have to give up her current post to run for governor, and she might prefer to run for another attorney general instead – bolstered, perhaps, by the attention her recent activity has attracted.