Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) is seeking a third term in 2018, but faces a challenge in the September 13 Democratic primary from actress Cynthia Nixon, who has cast herself as a progressive alternative to Cuomo.
Cuomo, a possible 2020 presidential contender, has the support of the state and national Democratic establishment. Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, and DNC Chairman Tom Perez endorsed him, and he received the support of 95 percent of the delegates to New York’s Democratic Convention.
Cuomo is running on his record as governor, which he says includes legalizing same-sex marriage, raising the minimum wage to $15, expanding tuition-free college, tightening gun restrictions, and implementing a paid family leave policy. Nixon supporters claim that he began to adopt more liberal policies on marijuana, voting rights for felons, and immigration after she challenged him, calling this “the Cynthia Effect.”
Nixon has criticized Cuomo for what she contends are his shortcomings on the New York subway system, affordable housing, and renewable energy. She supports single-payer healthcare and legalizing marijuana, says increasing education funding is her top priority, and was one of the first Democrats to call for abolishing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Nixon has also said Cuomo allowed Republicans to control the state Senate by empowering the Independent Democratic Conference (which generally supports fiscally conservative policies), and has not addressed corruption in Albany. She is backed by the New York chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, the Working Families Party, Democracy for America, and Our Revolution.
As of September 7, Cuomo had over $24 million in cash on hand, while Nixon had less than $450,000. Public polls have shown Cuomo with 50 to 66 percent support, while Nixon has received between 19 and 28 percent.
In the lieutenant gubernatorial Democratic primary, Cuomo is aligned with incumbent Kathy Hochul while Nixon endorsed Hochul’s challenger, New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams. The winner of the lieutenant gubernatorial primary will run on the same general election ticket as the winner of the Cuomo vs. Nixon race.
Culled from Ballotpedia