ALBANY, N.Y.(AP, Mr 20,2018): — Former “Sex and the City” star Cynthia Nixon said on Twitter Monday that she’ll challenge Gov. Andrew Cuomo in New York’s Democratic primary in September.
Her announcement sets up a race pitting an openly gay liberal activist against a two-term incumbent with a $30 million war chest and possible presidential ambitions.
“We want our government to work again. On health care, ending massive incarceration, fixing our broken subway,” Nixon said in a video announcing her candidacy . “We are sick of politicians who care more about headlines and power than they do about us.”
Nixon has her work cut out for her. A Siena College poll released Monday showed Cuomo leading her by 66 per cent to 19 per cent among registered Democrats, and by a similar margin among self-identified liberals. Nixon did a little better among younger and upstate Democrats, but didn’t have more than a quarter of either group.
The poll of 772 registered voters was conducted March 11-16. The margin of error is plus-minus 4.0 percentage points.
Nixon has in recent months given speeches and interviews calling on Democrats nationally to run “bluer” in 2018 and carve out a strong, progressive liberal identity rather than being merely “the anti-Trump party.”
It’s a left-flank strategy that has had success against Cuomo in the past — nearly unknown liberal activist and law professor Zephyr Teachout garnered a surprising 34 per cent of the vote in the 2014 Democratic primary.
“It could be a fight for the soul of the Democratic Party in some sense,” said Baruch College political scientist Douglas Muzzio.
Nixon, a 51-year-old Manhattan mother of three, is a longtime advocate for fairness in public school funding and fervent supporter of Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has frequently clashed with Cuomo. Her video shows her walking her young daughter to school as she talks about being a proud public school parent.