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Meet John Cahill, the GOP candidate for New York State Attorney General

John Cahill, a former policy advisor to former Governor George Pataki, is running on the Republican line for Attorney General.

John Cahill, a former policy advisor to former Governor George Pataki, is running on the Republican line for Attorney General. Photo by Pete DeMola.

LAKE PLACID — John Cahill strode into a coffee shop in this idyllic summertime hotspot and apologized for being late.

The former Chief of Staff for Governor George Pataki had just come from the 32nd annual Tupper Lake Tinman Triathlon in Tupper Lake, a brief respite from traveling the state meeting with local law enforcement officials.

“This was just a tune-up race for Ironman,” he said, referring to next month’s triathlon.

He may well have also been referring to another endurance effort: Running as the Republican candidate for New York State’s Attorney General.

Cahill, who nabbed the GOP nomination at the state convention in May, said he has always realized the importance and value of public service.

His bio is impressive: Senior Policy Advisor to the Governor. Chief of Staff. Former Department of Environmental Conservation commissioner. High-powered lawyer at the consulting firm that bears his name, a co-billing with Pataki, the state’s last Republican governor who served three terms and left office at the end of 2006.

“But now I’m at a point when my kids are grown up,” Cahill said. “I’ve got a valuable background for public service and want to serve.”

The candidate said the current Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, a Democrat, has forgotten and ignored the public.

“Most people don’t know him or anything he’s done,” he said. “The job is too critical of a position to be ignored.”

Cahill said he felt strongly about issues of criminal justice and that the position plays an important role in fighting crime throughout the state.

“I don’t share the same philosophy as Schneiderman. Crime is absolutely caused by criminals,” he said. “They’re the root cause.”

The candidate said he would work closely with local law enforcement on issues that are important to the North Country, including the heroin epidemic.

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