Cynthia Nixon is a Democrat challenging Gov. Andrew Cuomo in their party’s Sept. 13 primary

ROCHESTER — By latest count, Gov. Andrew Cuomo's challengers include two Republicans, several third-party candidates, and one fellow Democrat: actress and activist Cynthia Nixon.

Making her first visit to Western New York since declaring her candidacy two weeks ago, Nixon was in Rochester Thursday speaking at the 1872 Cafe on West Main Street. The 51-year-old Manhattan mother of three is an ally of Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who frequently clashes with Cuomo on many issues. 

Nixon, who played Miranda Hobbes in the “Sex and the City” TV show and movies, has blasted Cuomo on a number of fronts including the condition of a housing complex in Brooklyn. “It’s not just a matter of how broken and crumbling everything is, it’s literally about how it’s killing the residents here,” said Nixon after visiting Brooklyn’s Albany Houses with thousands of apartments in the Crown Heights neighborhood.

In Rochester, she made references to notable women who have called the Rochester area home

"It's such a pleasure and a treat to be here today in Cafe 1872, in the very building where Susan B. Anthony made history by casting an illegal vote nearly 150 years ago," Nixon said.

After taking a moment to remember late Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, and her powerful influence on this nation's laws and her inspiration to women, Nixon told the crowd that women's voices have been ignored for far too long. She said that there is a need for more women to play a role in the political process.

Nixon said that we have to change what we consider women's issues. She said that when New Yorkers can't afford their rent, or when ice storms into homes separating families, or when a police officer shoots unarmed black person in the street, these are all women's issues.

"The working class that politicians and reporters are so obsessed with is not just men in factories and hard hats," Nixon said. "New York's working class today is overwhelmingly women, and overwhelming immigrant women and women of color. We need a governor who understands that the key to growing our economy is better jobs and better wages for women."

Another Democrat who said she is strongly considering a challenge to Cuomo is Stephanie Miner. An attorney and former mayor of Syracuse, Miner has been getting encouragement from progressives eager to see her in the race.

As for Republicans, there are state Senate Deputy Majority Leader John DeFrancisco of Syracuse and Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro. A state Republican convention is slated for May and both have said they are in the race to seek their party’s nomination.

Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb, R-Canandaigua, backs Molinaro. Kolb said he believes Molinaro’s experience in public service and approach to governing is what Albany needs. Kolb was the first to seek the Republican nomination for governor and dropped out of the race in February.

Third-party candidates include Joel Giambra, the former Erie County executive, who plans to run as an independent; and businessman Larry Sharpe, who is expected to win the Libertarian Party’s endorsement. Howie Hawkins, who was the Green Party gubernatorial candidate in 2014, said he contemplating a run for governor.

Includes reporting by news partner News 10NBC and The Associated Press


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