Cynthia Nixon conceded defeat Thursday in her high-profile challenge to become the next governor of New York, but she said, despite the loss, her campaign had “fundamentally changed the political landscape” in the state.
“This campaign changed expectations about what’s possible in New York state,” Nixon, an actress and education advocate, said. “We moved issues of racial and economic justice to the forefront. We shined a light on inequality and turned the media’s attention to forgotten communities across this state.”
Current Gov. Andrew Cuomo handily won the Democratic nomination for the third time on Thursday, despite a strong challenge from Nixon’s progressive camp. He had marshaled a sizable war chest going into the primary, raising more than $35 million to Nixon’s $2.5 million. He now faces Republican nominee Marcus Molinaro.
“He fought hard, and he took nothing for granted in this race, and when others were underestimating us, he did not,” Nixon said of Cuomo. “And he spent accordingly.”
Nixon had campaigned on several major progressive platforms, including the legalization of marijuana, fixing a beleaguered public transit system in New York City and further addressing climate change. The pledges, popular among many progressives, forced Cuomo to pivot left during his own campaign and saw the governor restore voter rights for paroled felons and issue a favorable review of marijuana legalization.
“The generation coming of age in Obama and Trump’s America is one of the most progressive generations in history,” Nixon wrote on Twitter after the election. “You are going to change America ― and for the first time in our history create a nation that finally belongs to all of us.”
She continued: “Thank you all for believing and fighting and leaving it all on the field. We started something here in New York, and it doesn’t end today. This is just the beginning. And I know that together we will win this fight.”