Schneiderman wins attorney general race

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(AP) - A Democratic state senator who vowed to protectthe interests of everyday New Yorkers beat a Republican prosecutorTuesday in the race to be New York's next attorney general.

With almost 90 percent of precincts reporting, 55-year-old Sen.Eric Schneiderman led Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovanby more than 400,000 votes, or 12 percentage points.

"I believe in being part of a collective that works for thecommon good," Schneiderman said early Wednesday.

He thanked several advocacy groups and the labor movement,saying he was ready to stand up against "powerful forces" thatdenigrate others. "Equal justice under law ... This is the essenceof what America's about."

Schneiderman, a senator from Manhattan's Upper West Side for 12years, said he's led reform efforts in Albany, where the Senateleadership eight years ago tried to redistrict him out of theLegislature. This year he led the Senate investigation thatresulted in the expulsion of a fellow lawmaker.

He was endorsed by Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who waselected governor on Tuesday. Schneiderman had strong support inmost of New York City. Donovan took a majority of votes in manyupstate counties.

Schneiderman, who has broad union backing, had won a five-wayprimary for the Democratic nomination.

The attorney general, with a staff of about 625 lawyers, defendsNew York in lawsuits and files suits, monitors charities andsometimes conducts investigations and prosecutions.

Donovan, 53, had vowed to crack down on corruption in Albany."Tonight we fell a little bit short, but that does not change thefact we need a new direction in New York state," he said.

Schneiderman said his experience as a sheriff's deputy, publicinterest and corporate attorney and lawmaker made him betterprepared for the job as the state's top lawyer.

Donovan is a native of Staten Island, where he has been electedtwice. A career prosecutor who was deputy borough president, hesaid he reorganized the DA's office to increase prosecutions andsaid Staten Island is the safest borough in what FBI data show tobe the safest big city in America.

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