Gubernatorial race takes top billing on Democratic primary day

Posted September 14, 2018

New York Democrats are poised to decide who prevails in the long and sometimes nasty primary fight between New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Cynthia Nixon.

Nixon, who is pushing for universal rent control, single-payer health care, new funding for public schools and a large-scale renewal of New York City's broken-down subway system, which is controlled by the state, frequently describes Cuomo's record as insufficiently ambitious for one of the country's bluest states. Nixon, it argued, "won't stand strong for our Jewish communities".

Registered party voters trickled steadily into polling stations in Manhattan, where Nixon - who espouses universal healthcare, rent controls, and fixing the decrepit subway - is thought to enjoy more support than in the suburbs or rural areas.

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Other important races are on the ballot, including the candidates for NY attorney general.

Political observers say that turnout is an overriding factor, but if damaging stories continue to come out about Cuomo, whether concerning the bridge, the mailer or other issues, "it's likely to affect at the margins the spread", said Levenson.

Cuomo has also racked up endorsements from a wide assortment of people including Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton and, on Wednesday, the musician Nicki Minaj.

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Meanwhile, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's son, Dante de Blasio, was also among those who found themselves not on the rolls, the mayor said.

"Based on my experience as state chair, there is no way that a mailer was designed and then sent out and paid for without the explicit consent of Andrew Cuomo or one of his top lieutenants", Miner said. "This idea that he's going to win could be a factor in people saying, 'I don't need to go in on Thursday, '" political consultant Michael Dawidziak said in a telephone interview. That side featured a photo of Cuomo with President Reuven Rivlin of Israel, and a list of the governor's accomplishments for Jewish causes.

Until quite recently, Cynthia Nixon was best known as the spiky red-headed companion of Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City. The paper reported that the aide followed up the pitch with a series of text messages urging the paper to run the piece. A Democratic Party mailer implied she was anti-Semitic, sparking a furious backlash but Cuomo pleaded innocent. Cuomo was widely expected to win, with a 41-point lead in the latest poll, and the AP called the race about a half hour after the polls closed.

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Nevertheless, as the shock primary victory of democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez over Joe Crowley in June proved, fortunes can change in a NY minute.