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AP source: Cuomo among contenders for attorney general pick

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In this Nov. 25, 2020, photo provided by the Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo, Gov. Cuomo speaks in Rochester, N.Y. Cuomo is one of several contenders under consideration by President-elect Joe Biden for the role of attorney general. (Mike Groll/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)
By ERIC TUCKER Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is one of several contenders under consideration by President-elect Joe Biden for the role of attorney general, a person with knowledge of the search process said Friday.

The other three contenders at the moment include former Alabama Sen. Doug Jones, federal appeals court judge Merrick Garland and former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, said the person, who cautioned that no decision had been reached and no announcement was expected imminently.

The person was not authorized to discuss the search process by name and spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press.

The Associated Press reported earlier in the week that Jones, who lost his Senate seat last month, and Garland, who was spurned by Republicans four years ago for a spot on the Supreme Court, had emerged as the two front-runners in the search process.

Spokespeople for Cuomo did not immediately return emails seeking comment on Friday.

It was not clear to what extent the disclosure this week that federal prosecutors were investigating the finances of Biden’s son, Hunter, might have scrambled the attorney general search process given that the person who has picked would inherit the probe assuming it remains active next month.

It was also not immediately clear how seriously Cuomo was being considered or how any nomination of him would be greeted by either Republicans, given Cuomo’s antagonistic relationship with President Donald Trump, or by civil rights activists who have encouraged Biden to build a diverse cabinet.

The Rev. Al Sharpton, who was among advocates who met with Biden on Tuesday on the subject of diversity and civil rights, told reporters that he had encouraged Biden to select a Black attorney general but gave him room to select someone of another race as long as they had a background in civil rights.

A former state attorney general and Housing and Urban Development secretary in the Clinton administration, Cuomo has been governor of New York since 2011 and has been the public face of the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
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Follow Eric Tucker at http://www.twitter.com/etuckerAP