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Sex and the City star loses bid to become New York governor

Cynthia Nixon was accused of being anti-semitic by opponents [Getty]

Date of publication: 14 September, 2018

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Actress and activist Cynthia Nixon has lost her bid to become the Democratic candidate for governor in New York after losing 66-34 to incumbent Andrew Cuomo.

Cynthia Nixon, the left-leaning Sex and the City actress-turned-education activist, lost her dream of becoming New York governor Thursday, when she was trounced in the Democratic Party primary by the two-term incumbent.

Andrew Cuomo, 60, in office since 2011 and who commanded a huge war chest from powerful donors, won the primary  66-34 percent, US media projected not long after the polls closed.

The result puts Cuomo on course to win a third term as chief executive of America's fourth most populous state in the upcoming 6 November election.

Nixon, a 52-year-old mother of three, dived into the race in March, in a bid to become the first woman and first openly gay governor, demanding change and supporting a raft of left-of-centre hot-button issues.

Neither Cuomo nor Nixon made any immediate public comment after US media called the race.

Lower down the ticket, the candidate Nixon endorsed as lieutenant governor, Jumaane Williams, a 42-year-old city councilman from Brooklyn, was narrowly ahead of incumbent Kathy Hochul in a race that was considered too close to call by US media.

"He is an experienced man and she is totally inexperienced," explained Cuomo voter Jack Buchanan, 87, on Manhattan's Upper East Side.

"We already have a totally inexperienced guy in the White House, so why put one in Albany?" he added in reference to the state capital and President Donald Trump, who is hugely unpopular in the city.

"I don't think she's qualified," Nixon voter Jill Vexler told AFP in Union Square, confessing it had been "more of a sympathy vote".

"I don't think she has enough strategy to get the money to do what she wants to do, but I do like what she wants to do."

Nixon had hoped to ride the crest of other upset victories by political first-timers in Democratic Party primaries for congressional seats in places like New York and Boston.

The race between Nixon and Cuomo turned bitter as opponents of the actress attempted took shot at her views on the Middle East and raised questions of anti-semitism.

In a tweet, Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz described Nixon's support for Israeli actors who had refused to perform in a West Bank settlement as "bigotry", and slammed her support for "Israel Haters Jewish Voice for Peace".

Later on in the campaign, Nixon slammed Cuomo for leading a "vile and deliberate hate campaign" by painting her as an anti-semite.

Nixon's remarks followed a New York Post report linking one of Cuomo’s closest advisers with a flyer accusing Nixon of being anti-semitic.

The flyer, which was paid for by the state Democratic Party, was delivered to around 7,000 households in Jewish neighbourhoods.

Cuomo has adamantly denied involvement with the smear.

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