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Former US Prosecutor in Buffalo Runs for State Attorney General

By Mark Scott

Buffalo, NY – Former US Attorney for Western New York, Denise O'Donnell, announced her candidacy late Monday afternoon for state attorney general.

The election is still a year-and-a-half away. But that didn't stop Denise O'Donnell from officially declaring her candidacy at Buffalo's historic Guaranty Building. O'Donnell said she's prepared to "lead the fight for justice."

"(I will) seek justice by protecting the security of our borders and aggressively prosecuting those that would destroy our government and our way of life," O'Donnell said.

Still, O'Donnell faces a difficult challenge in her quest to succeed Eliot Spitzer as attorney general. With Spitzer running for governor, some high profile Democrats, including former Housing Secretary Andrew Cuomo and former New York City Public Advocate Mark Green, are also interested in running. And hailing from upstate, she would appear to have relatively little name recognition in New York City. But Chautauqua County Executive Mark Thomas says O'Donnell has spent the past year trying to change that.

"She's been putting her time where she needed to, doing some fundraising and getting some notoriety in New York City," Thomas said. "A lot of the primary vote is going to come out of New York City. I believe with the inroads she has made, she will be successful come primary day."

The Erie County Democratic Committee has already endorsed O'Donnell. And while she would like the support of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, O'Donnell said it's unlikely New York's junior senator would take sides in the primary.