US & Canada

Sex and the City star Cynthia Nixon to run for NY governor

Cynthia Nixon is a lifelong New Yorker Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Cynthia Nixon is a lifelong New Yorker

Sex and the City star Cynthia Nixon has announced she is launching a bid for New York governor.

Ms Nixon, who played Miranda Hobbs on the HBO series, plans to challenge incumbent Governor Andrew Cuomo for the Democratic party nomination.

The actress announced her plans to challenge the incumbent governor on Twitter on Monday.

The 51-year-old liberal activist, who had long been tipped to run, has never held elected office.

Who is Cynthia Nixon?

Ms Nixon played a career-oriented lawyer from 1998-2004 on television show Sex and the City. She won an Emmy for her work in 2004.

It was presented to her by another television celebrity - Donald Trump, whose presidency she has recently railed against.

Ms Nixon married her wife Christine Marinoni in 2012.

Ms Marinoni, an LGBTQ advocate, worked for Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio until she resigned a month ago.

The couple both contributed financially to his mayoral race.

What's her platform?

In Monday's campaign launch video, the actress said: "I love New York. I've never wanted to live anywhere else, but something has to change."

The actress listed several campaign priorities in the clip.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Ms Nixon married her wife Christine Marinoni in 2012

"We want our government to work again, on healthcare, ending mass incarceration, fixing our broken subway," she said.

"We are sick of politicians who care more about headlines and power than they do about us. It can't just be business as usual anymore."

Ms Nixon has long championed access to quality education in New York.

"I'm a proud public school graduate," she said, "and a prouder public school parent. I was given chances I just don't see most of New York's kids today. Our leaders are letting us down.

"We are the most unequal state in the entire country, with both incredible wealth and extreme poverty."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Actress Cynthia Nixon accepts her Emmy from Donald Trump in 2004

In a January op-ed for CNN, Ms Nixon wrote: "If we've learned anything during this first year of the Trump presidency, it's that the cavalry isn't coming to save us.

"We ourselves are the cavalry. In 2018, each one of us has to do whatever we can to take the government back. If we want change, we have to go out ourselves and seize it."

Can she win?

If elected, Nixon would become the first female and first openly gay governor of New York state.

Her fledgling campaign brands her as a progressive alternative to the centrist Mr Cuomo.

The 60-year-old incumbent governor, who is chasing his third term, is often touted as a possible presidential hopeful in 2020.

He has dismissed concerns about potential challengers in the Democratic primary on 13 September.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Governor Cuomo has dismissed concerns about potential challengers

"I'm not nervous about whoever runs," the governor said last week. "There'll be people who run. That's called elections, and that's fine."

But he could be vulnerable on his political left flank. The Nixon campaign team will take heart from the unexpectedly stiff challenge Mr Cuomo faced in his 2014 re-election from a little-known college lecturer who also positioned herself as a liberal Democrat.

Zephyr Teachout won roughly 34% of the vote to Mr Cuomo's 62%.

A recent opinion poll by New York's Siena College before Ms Nixon's public announcement had Mr Cuomo leading Democrats by 66% to Ms Nixon's 19%.

The same survey indicated the governor enjoyed an advantage over both Republicans who plan to challenge him, state senator John DeFrancisco and Marc Molinaro.

Allegations of corruption in the state capitol at Albany are likely to be dredged up ahead of election day in November.

Mr Cuomo's close friend and former aide Joseph Percoco was convicted last week on corruption charges.

Though the governor was not himself accused in the case, his name repeatedly cropped up during the trial.

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