Actress Cynthia Nixon is playing coy on whether she is actually considering a Democratic primary challenge in 2018 against Gov. Cuomo.
“I can not,” she laughed when asked Monday night by the Daily News at the New York City premier of her new film, “The Only Living Boy in New York,” if she could talk about the possibility of her running.
On Tuesday, she acknowledged during an appearance on NBC’s “Today” that “I have heard those rumors” about her possibly challenging Cuomo, but refused to say if she is considering it.
“I think there are a lot of people who would like me to run,” she told the show. “I think for a variety of reasons, but I think the number one is education.”
‘Sex and the City’ star Cynthia Nixon may run for N.Y. governor
A long-time public education activist, Nixon, as she has been in the past, was critical to The News and on “Today” of Cuomo’s handling of school aid for high-need districts, saying New York ranks 49th, behind only Illinois, when it comes to equitable school funding.
“There’s a ten thousand dollar gap (between the state’s richest and poorest districts) and that gap is the widest that it has ever been and that is in part to Gov. Cuomo’s policies,” she told the News. “And that needs to change and parents and teachers across the state are really upset about it, as they should be.”
The one-time “Sex and the City” actress argued public school kids in New York City, rural districts and other major cities in the state “are not getting what the state constitution guarantees them, which is a sound, basic education.”
“That’s a violation of the Constitution and it’s enough already — it’s gotta stop,” she said.
Cynthia Nixon chafed at News story about wife’s city job
On “Today”, Nixon noted how Cuomo frequently points out how New York spends more per pupil than any other state.
“That is actually true but the only reason that is true is because we spend so much on the kids in our wealthier districts, so that evens out.”
The Cuomo administration, known for often rhetorically bludgeoning critics, took the high-road in responding to Nixon’s criticisms.
“The more people talking about issues that make New York State stronger, the better,” Cuomo budget spokesman Morris Peters said. “We know Ms. Nixon is a passionate advocate for education, and we would be happy to sit down with her anytime to talk about it.”
Peters said that state education aid has increased by $6.2 billion, or 32%, during Cuomo’s six years in office, about 70% of which goes went to high-needs schools.
In New York City, he said, school aid since 2011 has grown by $2.5 billion, or a third. He said the city determines how the money is allocated.
Nixon is one of three Democrats, but certainly the best known, who have been mentioned as potential primary challengers to Cuomo. The other two are Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner and former Hudson Valley state Sen. Terry Gipson.
While not tipping her hand as to her own plans, Nixon told The News she’d like to see more women in politics.
“I think that women are not getting their fair shake in politics, but that’s true in many sectors,” she said.
Nixon — who’s wife Christine Marinori serves as an advisor to Mayor de Blasio, a Cuomo foe — also took aim at President Trump’s recent decision to ban transgender people from the military.
“It’s shameful and I think it’s ironic that he did it on the anniversary of the integration of the armed forces — he didn’t even realize the irony of what he was doing on the anniversary,” she said.
“During the campaign, he said very few things that I could get on board with,” she said. “But one of the things that he said that I was really appreciative of was that people should use the bathroom that they feel comfortable using. Well, that seems to have gone out the window, with so many other things.”
Send a Letter to the Editor