Cynthia Nixon rattled headlines earlier this year when she announced her run for governor of New York. Nixon is most famously known for her role as Miranda Hobbes in HBO’s infamous series “Sex and the City.” Turns out Miranda isn’t the only career driven woman in town. Nixon’s run for public office was met with a great deal of opposition from New Yorkers who believed she was too inexperienced. However, her resume said otherwise.
Nixon spent over a decade advocating for the people. She’s a well-known supporter of funding equitable education, an advocate for LGBTQ equality, and a strong believer in women’s reproductive rights and the legalization of marijuana. The ears of women all over New York perked up when they learned a candidate was willing to protect their rights. Especially since Governor Andrew Cuomo’s air of pink smoke had just started to clear out. Voters felt his support of reproductive rights, during his campaign, was simply a publicity stunt.
Cuomo, well-versed in using the media for his personal gain, is to blame for Nixon’s loss. National political strategist and one of Nixon’s top campaign advisors stated, “With $20 million they were able to define her as only being an actress and only being a celebrity.”
Nixon represented a new wave in politics, in more ways than one. Like many of her fellow progressive candidates, Nixon ran without the help of corporate campaign money. She was able to pull a historic 30 percent of New York City’s votes, with the help of small donors. Her choice to reject corporate money allowed her to run a campaign which highlighted issues she truly cared for.
While Nixon had been new to the political circle, she was not shy about getting involved. She rallied behind regular New Yorkers as they fought for subway repairs, “universal” rent control, immigrant protection, etc. The city had just gotten a taste of what could have been, a politician in office who listens. Many were outraged with Cuomo’s win, finding him outdated. Nixon had breathed life into the city and New Yorkers aren’t willing to let go just yet. New Yorkers felt a gap in their city as they realized they had just lost a government official who had real intentions to better serve our great city.
While Nixon may not be in office, she’s far from finished. In fact, to witness the reach of Nixon’s influence, look no further than her former opponent. Since his re-election into office, the governor seems to be under the #CynthiaEffect. Cuomo’s hard right policies now seem to be swerving to the left. The governor has changed his stance on everything from marijuana to plastic bags – suddenly marijuana is safe, and plastic is not. Who knew? Certainly, not Cuomo before this primary.
While public office may not be ready for Nixon just yet, the people certainly are. Crowds of disheartened New Yorkers continued to rally behind Nixon, even after her loss. During her concession speech, Nixon reminded her supporters that the fight could not end here. “As long as New York remains the single most unequal state in the country, we will keep fighting.”