(p. A19) Growing up on Buffalo’s rough and often neglected East Side, Keith H. Wofford recalled many crisp autumn Sundays spent with his father bonding over the Bills, following the team’s losses and wins on the radio.
Tickets to football games were not in the family’s budget: His father, John Wofford, worked at the nearby Chevrolet factory for 32 years, and his mother, Ruby, picked up odd jobs in retail to bring in extra income. But what the Woffords lacked in money, they made up for in expectations for their two sons.
“They always had an incredible amount of confidence in us,” Mr. Wofford, 49, said in an interview. “They made very clear that they didn’t see any limitations.”
Mr. Wofford held tight to that ideal as he left high school as a 17-year-old junior to attend Harvard University on a scholarship. Seven years later, he graduated from Harvard Law School. Last year, Mr. Wofford earned at least $4.3 million as a partner overseeing 300 lawyers and 700 employees at the New York office of international law firm Ropes & Gray, LLP, according to financial disclosure forms.
Now he’s the Republican nominee for state attorney general in New York, vying to become one of the most powerful law enforcement officials in the country.
“How many guys who work at a white shoe law firm had dads who had a union job?” asked C. Teo Balbach, 50, the chief executive of a software firm who grew up in Buffalo, and played intramural rugby at Harvard with Mr. Wofford.
“He’s a real hard worker and grinder, and that comes from that upbringing where you come from a middle-class family in a difficult neighborhood and you don’t take anything for granted,” Mr. Balbach added.
. . .
. . . issues facing Mr. Wofford should he win are potential conflicts of interest from his law practice.
. . .
Mr. Wofford said the criticism about him is indicative of Ms. James’s “hyperpartisan” attitude, and he sought to distinguish himself from her by characterizing himself as an outsider.
“Being on the wrong side of the tracks in Buffalo,” Mr. Wofford said, “is about as far from insider as you can get.”
His success as a lawyer, however, did allow him one heartfelt opportunity: In his father’s last years, Mr. Wofford returned to Buffalo, and during football season, they would bond again over Bills games — but in person, at the stadium, as a season-ticket holder.
For the full story, see:
Jeffery C. Mays. “Can an Unknown G.O.P. Candidate Become Attorney General?” The New York Times (Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018): A19.
(Note: ellipses added.)
(Note: the online version of the story has the date Oct. 12, 2018, and has the title “Can a Black Republican Who Voted for Trump Be New York’s Next Attorney General?”)