Nixon says people want her to run against Cuomo to fix education

ALBANY — Actress Cynthia Nixon played coy Tuesday on whether she is actually considering a Democratic primary challenge in 2018 against Gov. Cuomo.

“I have heard those rumors,” she said several times when asked about a possible run during an appearance on NBC’s “The Today Show” where she was promoting her new film, “The Only Living Boy in New York.”

She wouldn’t even say if she is considering a run for governor.

“I think there are a lot of people who would like me to run,” she said when lightly pressed. “I think for a variety of reasons, but I think the number one is education.”

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A long-time public education activist, Nixon, as she has been in the past, was critical of Cuomo’s handling of school aid for high-need districts, saying New York ranks 49th, behind only Illinois, when it comes to equable school funding.

“We have a real problem on our hands in New York State,” said Nixon, who added that her three kids either went through or are currently in the New York City school system.

“Gov. Cuomo likes to say that we spend more per pupil than any other state and that is actually true but the only reason that is true is because we spend so much on the kids in our wealthier districts, so that evens out.”

But she argued that the gap between the state’s 100 richest schools and 100 poorest schools is $ 10,000 per pupil. She said the state under former Gov. Eliot Spitzer began addressing the problem, but it has only grown worse under Cuomo.

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“That gap now between our richest schools and our poorest schools is wider under Gov. Cuomo than it has ever been before- and that’s got to stop,” Nixon said.

Nixon is one of three Democrats, but certainly the best known, who have been mentioned as potential primary challengers to Cuomo. The other two are Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner and former Hudson Valley state Sen. Terry Gipson.

Cuomo has argued the schools have experienced record funding during his tenure and that the state has more than met its legal obligation under an old court ruling that said the state had traditionally short-changed the funding of city schools.

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