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Congressman Maloney Backs Cuomo Amid Reported Democratic Challenge

Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney
WAMC/Allison Dunne
Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney

A Hudson Valley Democratic congressman is backing Governor Andrew Cuomo following reports that the Democrat could face a primary challenge from actress Cynthia Nixon. 

Sean Patrick Maloney of the 18th House District said Thursday Democrats should not have intramural contests that would only aid Republicans. In his statement, Maloney – who is gay – praised Cuomo for his actions on LQBTQ rights. Maloney also said many in the LGBTQ community are recommending that Nixon – who is also gay – reconsider her reported decision to run.

Cuomo, who led the effort to legalize same-sex marriage in New York in 2011, is expected to run for a third term this year.

"We must remember that Governor Cuomo took on the marriage equality issue when few politicians dared broach the subject,” Maloney said in Thursday’s statement. “He was full-throated in his support and unabashed in his efforts, often to his political detriment. That’s called leadership. Many forget that when Governor Cuomo led the fight, New York's passage of marriage equality was against all odds. His success reverberated across the country and pressured other high-level elected officials to take a position. Support for marriage equality grew exponentially after our success in New York. Governor Cuomo changed the national dynamic, which ultimately led to the Supreme Court's historic decision. But there was another lesson to learn in that exercise. After the State Legislature passed the bill, Governor Cuomo coalesced the LGBTQ community and said we needed to support the leaders, regardless of party, who had supported us, because many would be targeted by the conservative movement for removal. The Governor's point was that we must support people who support our movement so as to keep faith with those current allies and send a signal to future ones. He was right. The LGBTQ community should stand with those who stood with us when it mattered most. And no one stood stronger than Governor Cuomo. He is a national progressive leader and his record of accomplishments has made New York State the progressive capital of the nation once again.  Marriage equality, $15 minimum wage, paid family leave -- the list goes on and on. To my fellow LGBTQ New Yorkers, I say: Let's support the leader and friend who supported us. It doesn't work any other way. We also must keep focused on the larger goal -- electing strong, proven progressive Democrats – including a Democratic Congress -- to stop President Trump. Governor Cuomo is a tremendous ally in that effort. We should not have intramural contests that only aid Republicans. We should all support Governor Cuomo." 

Jim is WAMC’s Associate News Director and hosts WAMC's flagship news programs: Midday Magazine, Northeast Report and Northeast Report Late Edition. Email: jlevulis@wamc.org
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