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Andrew Cuomo wins Democratic nomination for New York governor

© Craig Ruttle, Pool/Getty Photographs) New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo solutions a query throughout a debate with main opponent Cynthia Nixon at Hofstra...


Andrew Cuomo standing in front of a screen: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo answers a question during a debate with primary opponent Cynthia Nixon at Hofstra University on Aug. 29. © Craig Ruttle, Pool/Getty Photographs) New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo solutions a query throughout a debate with main opponent Cynthia Nixon at Hofstra College on Aug. 29.

BROOKLYN, N.Y. ― Gov. Andrew Cuomo received the Democratic gubernatorial nomination for the third time Thursday, overcoming a spirited progressive problem that highlighted the continuing ideological divide throughout the Democratic Occasion.

Cuomo defeated Cynthia Nixon, 52, an actress and schooling activist backed by an array of left-leaning teams, who had bother convincing voters that she had the expertise wanted to run the fourth-largest state within the nation.

Cuomo, 60, a two-term incumbent, is because of face Dutchess County Govt Marc Molinaro, a Republican, and former Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, a Democrat working as an impartial, within the November normal election. He’s closely favored to win a 3rd time period.

“Cuomo could also be re-elected however Albany has been reworked eternally,” mentioned Joe Dinkin, head of campaigns for the progressive Working Households Occasion, which backed Nixon’s bid. “To beat Cynthia Nixon, Cuomo needed to spend tens of hundreds of thousands of and likewise make critical coverage concessions to progressives, from prison justice reform to funding the subways.”

Certainly, Cuomo raised $ 35.6 million as of the most recent pre-election disclosure and spent $ eight.5 million within the three weeks earlier than the ultimate submitting interval.

Nixon, in contrast, raised and spent $ 2.5 million. The huge fundraising hole prevented Nixon from establishing her identify recognition, not to mention disseminating her message. Her marketing campaign first bought tv airtime simply three days earlier than the election.

Cynthia Nixon holding a sign: Nixon reacts during a televised debate with Cuomo. © Pool/Getty Photographs Nixon reacts throughout a televised debate with Cuomo.

Cuomo additionally pivoted to the left as a way to undermine Nixon.

After Nixon entered the race, Cuomo restored voting rights for paroled felons, launched a state examine that reviewed marijuana legalization favorably and, maybe most importantly, in April struck a deal to disband the Impartial Democratic Convention, a breakaway faction of state Senate Democrats who aligned with Republicans (albeit after passage of the state funds in March).

The IDC has been a selected sore level for Cuomo’s progressive critics, who imagine he intentionally inspired the faction’s alliance with Senate Republicans in 2013 and subsequently allowed it to endure to function a scapegoat for the failure of progressive priorities. Along with state Sen. Simcha Felder, who additionally caucuses with Republicans, the IDC empowered a Republican majority that refused to take up a sequence of liberal legal guidelines authorized by the Democratic-run state Meeting. The stalled measures embody payments defending the younger undocumented immigrants generally known as Dreamers, codifying girls’s abortion rights, shifting the state to renewable power, modernizing archaic voting legal guidelines, boosting faculty funding and enacting state-level single-payer well being care.

Cuomo has had a rocky relationship with the Democratic Occasion’s progressive wing since he first took workplace in 2011 and instantly minimize each taxes and schooling spending.

Nevertheless, simply as Nixon’s problem prompted an adjustment in his political calculations, a surprisingly robust main contest in 2014, when Zephyr Teachout obtained 34 % of the vote, nudged Cuomo to the left in his second time period.

That proved useful to the New York governor in his bid for a 3rd time period, permitting him to level to a number of main progressive accomplishments he has handed since successful re-election. He banned fracking in 2014; handed a $ 15 minimal wage and paid household depart in 2016; and in 2017, created the Excelsior Scholarship program, which gives a tuition-free public faculty schooling to some underprivileged college students (although the stringent eligibility requirements have severely restricted this system’s attain).

Cuomo additionally took full benefit of the ability of his workplace to painting himself as a bulwark towards President Donald Trump, significantly when it got here to immigration coverage. When Trump first declared a journey ban on a number of predominantly Muslim nations, Cuomo introduced that the state would present authorized assist to these detained at airports. He has since visited a facility housing kids separated from their households resulting from Trump’s border insurance policies and supplied to offer them psychological well being providers.

It definitely hasn’t harm that Trump despises Cuomo and has provoked Twitter fights with him.

Cuomo nonetheless enlisted Democratic Nationwide Committee Chairman Tom Perez, a Buffalo native, and former Vice President Joe Biden to marketing campaign for him. In ads and marketing campaign literature, Biden cited Cuomo’s expertise as an important instrument within the struggle towards Trump.

Cuomo “has abilities, guts and expertise wanted to defend New York towards the conservative agenda popping out of Washington,” Biden is quoted saying in a pro-Cuomo mailer from the New York Democratic Occasion, which Cuomo controls.

Nixon proved to be a formidable adversary on the stump, lambasting the governor at each flip for his corruption and detachment from what she mentioned had been state voters’ significantly extra progressive values.

Her assaults on Cuomo’s administration of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, or MTA, which oversees New York Metropolis’s ailing subway system had been particularly resonant.

“He used the MTA like an ATM,” Nixon quipped in her solely face-to-face debate with Cuomo.

Finally, although, Nixon’s inexperience prevented her candidacy from breaking by way of in a yr when Democratic voters are so livid at Trump, one other movie star with out formal political expertise. 

Whether or not Cuomo’s coverage priorities will proceed to evolve in response to the altering political terrain stays to be seen. Some key exams of Cuomo’s governance shall be how he handles enhancing the subway, and whether or not he delivers on long-standing guarantees to wash up corruption in Albany. Greater than some other New York politician, Cuomo has benefited from the state’s free marketing campaign finance legal guidelines, raking in huge sums of company money. And two of the governor’s former high aides are additionally headed to jail for bribery and bid-rigging. 

For now, Nixon’s supporters take coronary heart within the activism that she impressed ― and plan to make use of it to strain the governor. 

“We rejoice the creation of our broader grassroots motion that can maintain Cuomo’s toes to the hearth,” mentioned Susan Kang, an affiliate political science professor at John Jay School and chief of the New York Metropolis chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, which endorsed Nixon.

“New York is in disaster and we are going to proceed to advocate for the progressive reforms that working New Yorkers want, that the governor has been a key participant in blocking,” she added. “The struggle isn’t over. We’re simply starting.”

This text initially appeared on HuffPost.

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