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Brutal blow for Cynthia Nixon’s political ambitions as Sir Elton John backs her opponent

Nick Duffy March 17, 2018

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 29: Cynthia Nixon speaks onstage during The People's State Of The Union at Town Hall on January 29, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)

Sir Elton John has backed Cynthia Nixon’s opponent, as the actress prepares a bid to become the first openly gay Governor of New York.

The Sex and the City actress is expected to shortly announce a campaign as a Democratic challenger to New York’s incumbent Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Nixon, who starred on iconic New York-based TV show Sex and the City as Miranda Hobbes, has been a frequent critic from the left of Governor Cuomo, who is seeking a third term in office.

Her governorship would shatter two ceilings at once – New York has never had a female governor, nor an openly gay governor.

Cynthia Nixon at the Tony Awards
Cynthia Nixon at the Tony Awards (Getty Images)

But Nixon’s ambitions were struck a blow today – when seasoned LGBT rights campaigner Sir Elton John backed her rival.

Sr Elton threw his full support behind Cuomo’s re-election campaign, releasing a statement on Friday alongside his his husband David Furnish that endorsed Governor Cuomo for a third term.

The letter repeatedly cited Governor Cuomo’s leadership on LGBT issues – somewhat of a low blow to the actress, given Nixon is herself part of the LGBT community.

Sir Elton and David Furnish said: “Governor Cuomo has championed a progressive agenda that has included significant policy and legislative progress on affordable housing, public education reform and women’s rights.

“And we will never forget his incredible leadership on marriage equality and everything he has done to champion gay rights.”

“His bold plan serves as a model for other states to emulate and we are so thankful to him for his tremendous leadership.

“For these important reasons we stand with and in support of Governor Andrew Cuomo as he announces his candidacy for re-election.”

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 28: Recording artist Sir Elton John attends the 60th Annual GRAMMY Awards at Madison Square Garden on January 28, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for NARAS)
(Getty)

A number of LGBT rights leaders have also backed Governor Cuomo.

The Human Rights Campaign has also backed his bid, despite previously stressing the importance of having more LGBT role models in politics.

HRC President Chad Griffin said: “Governor Cuomo has been a national champion for the LGBTQ community, with a proven track record of increasing much-needed protections and advancing equality for all New Yorkers.

“He led the way on winning marriage equality in New York, ensured critical non-discrimination protections were extended to transgender New Yorkers, took bold executive action to stop the discredited and dangerous practice of ‘conversion therapy,’ and set a strong example with his successful efforts to significantly lower the incidence of HIV and AIDS in the Empire State.”

Nixon has not yet confirmed her candidacy, although she has begun to assemble a campaign team.

Cynthia Nixon and her wife
Cynthia Nixon and her wife

Her wife, Christine Marinoni, recently stepped down from a job with the NYC Department for Education, preparing the way for the bid.

Two former top advisers to New York City mayor Bill de Blasio, Bill Hyers and Rebecca Katz, “have been in talks with Ms Nixon”, according to the NYT.

In a speech last month, Nixon signalled: “In 2018, we don’t just need to elect more Democrats. We also need better Democrats.”

More: US

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