Cuomo beats Cyn­thia Nixon in gov­er­nor­ship pri­mary

The Guardian - - WORLD - Erin Durkin

New York’s gover­nor, An­drew Cuomo, has beaten off a left­wing chal­lenge from Cyn­thia Nixon in the Democratic pri­mary to win a nom­i­na­tion for a third term.

Nixon, an ac­tor and ac­tivist known for her role on Sex and the City, sought to join the wave of in­sur­gent pro­gres­sives who have pulled off up­sets in Democratic races, but in the end came up short in Thurs­day’s con­test.

With 93% of precincts re­port­ing, Cuomo had 65% of the vote against Nixon’s 35%.

“This race for the Democratic nom­i­na­tion may be over, but the fight for the soul of the Democratic party is just be­gin­ning,” Nixon told sup­port­ers at Cafe Omar in Flat­bush, Brook­lyn, af­ter call­ing Cuomo to con­cede.

Nixon ham­mered Cuomo as a “cor­rupt cor­po­rate Demo­crat” through­out the cam­paign and went af­ter him over New York’s crum­bling mass tran­sit sys­tem, which the gover­nor con­trols.

But Cuomo, son of the for­mer New York Democratic gover­nor Mario Cuomo, raised far more funds than his op­po­nent and high­lighted her lack of ex­pe­ri­ence. Nixon has never held po­lit­i­cal of­fice and chose the state’s top job for her first run.

He pointed, too, to his ac­com­plish­ments in­clud­ing rais­ing the min­i­mum wage, pass­ing gun con­trol laws and le­gal­is­ing same-sex mar­riage.

Cuomo did not ap­pear at a vic­tory party held by his sup­port­ers in Man­hat­tan.

Nixon said the re­sult was “not what we had hoped for” but added that she was “not dis­cour­aged”.

“In our cam­paign, we took on one of the most pow­er­ful gov­er­nors in Amer­ica, and it wasn’t easy,” she said. “We started with noth­ing, and we earned ev­ery sin­gle vote.”

The race ap­peared to push Cuomo to the left on sev­eral is­sues: his ad­min­is­tra­tion moved to­ward le­gal­is­ing re­cre­ational mar­i­juana, and he signed an or­der al­low­ing paroled felons to vote.

Cuomo also made Don­ald Trump a cen­tral fig­ure in the cam­paign – por­tray­ing him­self as the best per­son to stand up to the pres­i­dent.

It did not al­ways go smoothly: he drew fire for say­ing Amer­ica “was never that great”, in a fum­bled at­tack on the pres­i­dent’s slo­gan.

Nixon went fur­ther, push­ing for sin­gle-payer health­care, driv­ing li­cences for un­doc­u­mented im­mi­grants, higher taxes on the rich, and a huge boost in ed­u­ca­tion spend­ing.

The race took on a some­times bit­ter tone. At their only de­bate, as the two sparred over the de­te­ri­o­ra­tion of New York’s sub­ways un­der the gover­nor’s ten­ure, Cuomo barked at Nixon: “Can you stop in­ter­rupt­ing?” She snapped back: “Can you stop lying?”

The con­test even fea­tured en­dorse­ments from the feud­ing rap­pers Nicki Mi­naj and Cardi B. Af­ter Mi­naj en­dorsed Cuomo and his slate, Cardi B threw her sup­port be­hind Nixon

In Novem­ber’s gen­eral elec­tion, Cuomo will face the Repub­li­can Marc Moli­naro, the Dutchess county ex­ec­u­tive, and Stephanie Miner, the for­mer Syra­cuse mayor, who is run­ning as an in­de­pen­dent.

▲ An­drew Cuomo and Cyn­thia Nixon be­fore their only de­bate dur­ing the race for the Democratic nom­i­na­tion

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