She shot to fame as the hard-talking Miranda Hobbes on HBO’s hit comedy Sex and the City, but Cynthia Nixon is headed in a new direction: the Governor’s office.
The actress-turned-activist announced her candidacy for the Democratic primary on Monday and will run against the state’s current governor Andrew M. Cuomo. Nixon will have a tough fight on her hands. Cuomo has held the position for two terms and is the son of a three-term NY governor. According to The New York Times, his reelection campaign already has $30 million. Nixon, meanwhile, says she “won’t be accepting any corporate contributions in this campaign”.
If she’s elected, Nixon will be New York’s first female governor and the first openly gay person to hold the office.
In a campaign video posted to her Twitter page on Monday, she said she could no longer stand by while the iconic city struggled with extreme inequity between boroughs.
“Our leaders are letting us down. We are now the most unequal state in the entire country, with both incredible wealth and extreme poverty,” she said. “Half the kids in our upstate cities live below the poverty line. How did we let this happen? … Something has to change.
“We are sick of politicians who care more about headlines and power than they do about us.”
— Cynthia Nixon (@CynthiaNixon) March 19, 2018
Since leaving her role on Sex and the City, Nixon has become increasingly involved in political activism. She campaigned for education, LGBTQ rights, breast cancer awareness, and women’s health care. She’s also been a vocal supporter of New York City mayor, and fellow Democrat, Bill de Blasio, and her wife, Christine Marinoni works for the mayor’s office as a special advisor for community partnerships in the Department of Education.
While she’s starting her campaign with an advantage as a well-known and well-liked actress, it remains to be seen whether or not New Yorkers will embrace another celebrity leader. President Donald Trump, a New Yorker himself, remains deeply unpopular in the state, despite his pre-presidency rise to fame in the city.
A Siena College poll recorded in September last year revealed Trump’s approval rating had fallen to an all-time low in the state, with just 29 per cent New York voters approving of the president, and 66 per cent disapproving.
Nixon will have to overcome her own celebrity if she is to win and convince voters she is a leader rather than just an actress dabbling in public service.