ALBANY — Actress Cynthia Nixon, who played Miranda on “Sex and the City,” may want a new role as Ms. Big.
Nixon is said to be one of several Democrats in New York mulling a potential Democratic primary challenge to Gov. Cuomo in 2018.
“She’d be a fantastic candidate,” said Billy Easton, executive director of the teachers union-supported Alliance for Quality Education. Easton has worked with Nixon on state education issues.
Nixon, whose potential run was first reported by the Wall Street Journal on Friday, has frequently been an activist on state and city issues, particularly pertaining to public education.
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“She’s the sort of unusual suspect who actually excites people in this moment of time,” Easton said.
Nixon’s publicist couldn’t be immediately reached for comment Friday afternoon.
Other names that have surfaced as possible Democratic challengers to Cuomo are Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner and former one-term state Sen. Terry Gipson.
Miner recently told the Daily News she has been approached about a possible run and hasn’t ruled it out.
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Gipson has said he, too, is exploring the possibility of taking on Cuomo.
Some members of the liberal wing of the Democratic party are unhappy with Cuomo and want to see him challenged from the left if he seeks reelection to a third term as he has said he would.
Cuomo has nearly $ 26 million in his campaign coffers. And polls have shown he remains popular among liberal New Yorkers.
But his overall numbers have been hurt of late as a result of the downstate mass transit crisis. He also faces potential embarrassing headlines early next year when two federal corruption trials pertaining to some of his signature upstate economic development projects are expected to begin.
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Cuomo campaign manager Bill Mulrow had no comment Friday on the possibility of Nixon running in a primary.
But Cuomo’s campaign recently defended the governor’s progressive credentials to The News, citing the passage of a $ 15 hourly minimum wage, a statewide paid family leave program, free college tuition for people making up to $ 120,000, and stringent clean energy standards.
“Gov. Cuomo has an unmatched record of accomplishment and looks forward to continuing to build on that record in his third term,” the campaign said Sunday when asked about the potential of a primary.
Cuomo himself early in the week deflected a question on a possible primary by saying it would be a discussion for next year.
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Cuomo faced a primary challenge in 2014 from Fordham Law Professor Zephyr Teachout, who garnered about a third of the vote.
Meanwhile, Basil Smikle, Cuomo’s hand-picked executive director for the state Democratic Party, on Friday blasted two Republicans who said they are considering running for governor next year.
Smikle accused state Senate Deputy Majority Leader John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse) and Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino, who lost big to Cuomo in 2010, of both being “from the same end of the ultra-conservative right wing of the Republican party.”
“They are against women’s rights, LGBT rights, fight for the 1% at the expense of everyone else, and promote anti-working class agendas,” he said. “They both pray at the altar of Trump University.”
Smikle added: “They both talk a big game, and they both have big egos. If they run they will lose, handily. We don’t see a scenario where their talk of running for Governor is anything other than an exercise in their outsized vanity. I guess we’ll see.”
Smikle’s statement did not mention other Republicans considering running for governor next year, including Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, and business turnaround expert Harry Wilson.
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