Nixon, known for her role on HBO’s “Sex and the City,” will be running as a Democrat against incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) in the state’s primary election, set for September. The actress is a newcomer to campaigning, but has been involved in politics, especially education policy, for years.
“We want our government to work again, on healthcare, ending mass incarceration, fixing our broken subway. We are sick of politicians who care more about headlines and power than they do about us,” Nixon said in her announcement.
In her two-minute announcement, Nixon focused on her longtime advocacy for public education, reminding voters that she and her three children attended New York City public schools. She also touched on the city’s deteriorating subway system, a topic that has plagued Cuomo for years.
Nixon attacked the incumbent governor directly in her press release.
“Cuomo’s time in office has been defined by a string of indictments for corruption, his failure to fix the New York City subway, and his support for a backroom deal which handed Republicans control of the state Senate, resulting in the failure of numerous pieces of progressive legislation,” the press release stated.
Nixon has been involved in New York City politics since 2014, when Mayor Bill de Blasio placed her on the advisory board for the Mayor’s Fund To Advance New York City. Christine Marinoni, Nixon’s wife, became the special adviser for community partnerships with the city’s Department of Education that same year.
In that time, Nixon has spoken critically about Cuomo’s work as governor in various forums. The actress told “The View” last year that even Cuomo’s most praised policies, such as free tuition at four-year state colleges, barely scratch the surface of the state’s needs.
“Basically, it only affects families that earn between $75,000 and $125,000 a year,” Nixon said on “The View.” “And it doesn’t apply to people who go part-time, which means they might have to work while they’re there, or they don’t graduate in four years, or they’re Dreamers.”
Nixon also wrote an op-ed for LoHud.com about public school funding that compared Cuomo, a Democrat, to U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, a Donald Trump nominee.
“[Cuomo] also wants to increase the number of privately-run charter schools in New York City by more than 50 percent,” Nixon wrote. “And he has been a loud proponent of private school tax credits, essentially a backdoor voucher system. These are policies we expect from Betsy DeVos, but from Andrew Cuomo?”
The award-winning actress is looking to dethrone the two-term governor, who has been battling public transit issues and a federal investigation into his administration’s payroll. Joseph Percoco, a former top aide to Cuomo, was found guilty in a corruption scandal after allegedly taking $300,000 in bribes from executives with state business.
A Siena College poll released Monday showed that despite the scandal, Cuomo leads Nixon with 66 percent of Democratic voters.
Clarification: A previous version of this story indicated Nixon “poses a credible threat” to Cuomo. This story has been updated to include details about a Monday poll that shows Cuomo significantly ahead of Nixon, as well as information about Percoco’s guilty verdict.