Report: “Sex and the City” actress considering run for New York governor

Cynthia Nixon
Cynthia Nixon attends "The Only Living Boy in New York" premiere at the Museum of Modern Art on Monday, Aug. 7, 2017, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

(CBS) – Actress Cynthia Nixon, best known for playing the serious-minded Miranda on HBO’s “Sex and the City,” is one of a handful of progressives mulling a 2018 primary challenge against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Nixon, who has become an outspoken activist and supporter of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, is being courted to run by liberal groups. And although she has dismissed speculation about a political career in the past, she’s now considering a run, according to the paper.

“She’s an out-of-the-box candidate with progressive credentials who would excite people,” Billy Easton, an activist allied with New York’s powerful teachers’ unions, told the Journal.

Cuomo, who sports a massive $25 million campaign war chest, is expected to run for a third term in 2018. Although relatively popular statewide, he experienced a stronger than expected primary challenge from law professor Zephyr Teachout in 2014, and frequently spars with de Blasio, a fellow Democrat.

The son of legendary New York Gov. Mario Cuomo is also thought to be a potential contender for the presidency in 2020 – assuming, of course, he wins reelection. “In the last few years there’s been an earthquake in American politics, and Andrew Cuomo could well be surprised,” Teachout told the Journal.

One issue that could potentially dog Cuomo in a Democratic primary is the sorry state of the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA), which operates New York City’s subways and a number of commuter rail services. Frequent delays and disruptions have plagued the service, which is primarily overseen by Cuomo and serves millions of riders every day.

Cuomo has also irked Democrats in the state legislature. The state’s senate is under Republican control due to an alliance with a breakaway group of Democrats, much to the annoyance of progressives who say the governor has obstructed efforts to bring it under Democratic Party control. Cuomo has a good working relationship with Republicans in the senate, and in the past has equivocated on whether the chamber would be better off with Democrats in charge.

However, he has also spearheaded an ambitious free-college program in New York, which he announced earlier this year alongside Vermont senator and progressive darling Bernie Sanders. Under the initiative, taxpayers will foot tuition costs at state schools for students coming from families that make less than $125,000 a year, so long as the students agree to stay in New York for several years after graduation.

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner and retired state senator Terry Gipson are also mulling primary challenges to Cuomo, according to the Journal.

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