This time the polls unfortunately predicted a bitterly contentious primary accurately and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo easily received the Democratic nomination for a third term, beating out the sensational first-time candidate Cynthia Nixon in Thursday’s primary election. The New York Times reported that with 33 percent of the vote counted, Cuomo had 66 percent of the vote to Nixon’s 34 percent.
Nixon—an actor famous for her portrayal of Miranda Hobbes on Sex and the City, and a longtime activist—ran on a platform to the left of Cuomo that included legalizing recreational marijuana, ending cash bail, abolishing the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE), and enacting Medicare for all. She is a self-described Democratic Socialist. She wanted to shift New York’s electricity to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. Her bagel order was baroque and strange, but this only made her more endearing.
Nixon conceded the race Thursday night, saying, “While the result tonight wasn’t what we had hoped for, I’m not discouraged. I’m inspired. I hope you are too. We have fundamentally changed the political landscape in this state. This isn’t just a symbolic victory. This campaign forced the Governor to make concrete commitments that will change the lives of people across this state.”
In terms of campaign donations, Cuomo was unmatched. The New York Times reports that while Nixon had garnered just over $2.5 million, composed of a record number of small donations for a New York race, Cuomo was sitting pretty on a $30 million campaign war chest at the beginning of the year.
The Times wrote on Thursday of the election results that “In the end, the governor’s record of achievements—on gun control, gay marriage, the minimum wage, paid-family leave and more—and his gargantuan fund-raising advantage spoke louder than Ms. Nixon’s objections over legislation he sidelined in the byzantine corridors of Albany’s capital.”
Former campaign manager for former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Bradley Tusk said of Cuomo’s victory that he “won ugly.” On Wednesday, the New York Post reported that an “eleventh-hour” campaign mailer implying Nixon is anti-Semitic was drafted and approved by Cuomo’s “closest advisers, including former top aide Larry Schwartz.”