Sex And The City's Cynthia Nixon to run for governor

The actress is running for governor of New York.
Cynthia Nixon
Cynthia Nixon

NEW YORK • Actress Cynthia Nixon  officially jumped into the race for governor of New York on Monday, setting off what promises to be a tumultuous six months as she challenges Governor Andrew M. Cuomo in this year's Democratic primary.

Nixon, 51, has never run for elected office before and has chosen a huge undertaking for her first bid: seeking to unseat a two-term incumbent (and son of a three-term governor) who is sitting atop more than US$30 million (S$39.5 million) in campaign cash.

The contest will likely become one of the marquee Democratic primaries in the nation, as Nixon is widely expected to challenge Mr Cuomo from the political left.

Some of her initial rhetoric on inequality echoed Senator Bernie Sanders'.

"We are now the most unequal state in the entire country, with both incredible wealth and extreme poverty," she said in a video posted on Twitter announcing her candidacy.

Splashed across the top of her website are more hints of her campaign's coming focus.

One of the five categories is a hashtag: #CuomosMTA, a term used often by critics of the governor for New York's faltering subway system run by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Nixon, best known for her work in the Sex And The City franchise, is expected to lean heavily on her star power and ability to draw media attention in ways that most challengers could not.

Within 18 minutes of posting her announcement video on Monday, she was the No. 1 trending topic on Twitter in New York, and then nationwide 20 minutes after that.

But her campaign may test the appetite of New Yorkers for a celebrity leader in the age of United States President Donald Trump, a deeply unpopular figure in New York among Democrats.

While Nixon has been an education activist for many years, her fame could cut both ways in the coming months.

If elected, she would become the first female governor, and the first openly gay governor, in New York history.

NYTIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 21, 2018, with the headline 'Sex And The City's Cynthia Nixon to run for governor'. Print Edition | Subscribe