The state Legislature began interviewing candidates to replace Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who resigned over a domestic violence scandal.
"I am not a politician", Underwood said.
James registered Monday with the state Board of Elections for a campaign committee to raise money for a run for attorney general. Among those interviewed Tuesday were Assemblymembers Tom Abinanti and Danny O'Donnell, and former Congresswoman and New York City Comptroller Elizabeth Holtzman.
The special committee will be chaired by Assemblyman Joseph Lentol, D-Brooklyn.
But at least three of the other candidates think Underwood - who some lawmakers have already said they favor for the interim job - may be the best qualified to serve out Schneiderman's term.
Almost every assemblymember and senator on the committee praised Underwood's credentials effusively; Democrat Senator Brad Hoylman called her a "real lawyer's lawyer".
The Cold Spring Democrat had been listed among 16 attorney-general prospects that a panel of state lawmakers was scheduled to interview in Albany on Tuesday and Wednesday as part of the Legislature's selection of an interim appointment.
"I think it's an understatement to say that none of us expected to be sitting here today for this goal", Underwood told senators and Assembly members gathered Tuesday at a meeting room in the state Capitol complex. Mike Gianaris and even former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.
"It's time to put people ahead of politics, and ultimately let the voters decide who their next attorney general will be", Flanagan said in a statement. "There's some truth to that, but I can assure you that is not who I am".
Rather, Rice said she would run for a third term in Congress.
"I'm not sleeping very much", she said with a laugh. Schneiderman himself won over the office in 2010 only when Andrew Cuomo left to run for governor.