By Basil Katz

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Democrat Eric Schneidermanwill face Republican Dan Donovan in New York's Nov. 2 generalelection for attorney general, a position made nationallyprominent for cracking down on Wall Street before the financialcrisis erupted.

New York is an overwhelmingly Democratic state but ifelected, Donovan would present a dramatic shift from the lasttwo men who held the job

Following are possible scenarios as New Yorkers choosetheir next attorney general.


Schneiderman, 55, won the Democratic nomination onWednesday. He was considered to be the most left-leaning of thecandidates but may move closer to the center to capture morevotes.

Schneiderman highlights the need for ethics reform and hisconcerns for low-income voters, although he opposed a proposalto tax hedge fund residents who live out of state.

Unlike Donovan, Schneiderman fully embraces the nickname"Sheriff of Wall Street" that was first applied to EliotSpitzer during his tenure from 1999 through 2006 and then tocurrent top prosecutor Andrew Cuomo.

"People who say we don't need the AG to be the sheriff ofWall Street are dead wrong at a time where there is still a lotof turbulence in the markets," Schneiderman told Reuters.

If elected, Schneiderman would probably pursue many of thesame tacks as Cuomo but with added emphasis on same-sex mariageand fighting corruption in the capital.


Schneiderman's win was the best thing that could happen toDan Donovan, Staten Island's 53-year-old district attorney.Running against Schneiderman will allow Donovan to attack theDemocrat's decidedly liberal views on issues such as dealingwith sex offenders or potentially scaring away financialinvestment by beating down on Wall Street.

In the race, Donovan will position himself as a moderate,but his low-key approach might falter as he faces issues heopposes such as gay marriage, or the proposed Islamic centernear the site of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in Manhattan.

Donovan has made clear he would stay away from theaggressive tactics of Spitzer and said he has no intention of"disturbing the garden" of Wall Street money, jobs and taxrevenue vital to the economy of a state suffering from theeffects of the recession.

(Editing by Bill Trott)