NY Gubernatorial Update: Nixon Challenges Cuomo

New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms PAC  has previously reported on the potential for a big-name Democratic primary challenger to Gov. Andrew Cuomo in his bid for re-election this year.

That potential has now become a reality.

On Monday, March 19, actress and activist Cynthia Nixon announced her candidacy for Governor of New York. Nixon, 51, is a New York City resident best known for her starring role in the TV series Sex and the City. While Nixon has no prior experience in elected office, she has been active in lobbying for same-sex “marriage,” public schools, and other causes. The day after releasing her announcement, Nixon gave a “fiery speech” in Brooklyn denouncing the Governor for accepting corporate donations, for perpetuating the corrupt culture of Albany, for allowing the alliance between State Senate Republicans and the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) to continue, and for not being a “real Democrat.” It is quite clear that Nixon intends to run to the political left of the Governor, just as Zephyr Teachout did in her 2014 primary challenge.

While the Democratic primary contest is only days old, it has already gotten nasty. On March 20, former New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn—a close ally of the Governor—lashed out, calling the race “a flight of fancy on [Nixon’s] part.” Oddly, the openly lesbian Quinn added that Nixon (who supported now-Mayor Bill de Blasio over Quinn in the 2014 New York City Democratic mayoral primary) did not want a “qualified lesbian [Quinn]” to become Mayor of New York City, but now wants an “unqualified lesbian” to become Governor. (After having had three children with a long-term male partner, Nixon entered into a same-sex “marriage” with her current female partner in 2012.) Quinn later walked back some of her remarks.

Gov. Cuomo’s money, experience, and name recognition will make the primary an uphill battle for Cynthia Nixon. However, given Nixon’s own name recognition and Hollywood contacts, given the deep distrust that the Governor inspires within the Sanders wing of the Democratic Party, and given the Governor’s less-than-stellar poll numbers, Nixon might just make the race interesting.