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Nixon Picks Up Endorsements From Two Progressive Groups

Cynthia Nixon

The political activist group Citizen Action has endorsed Democrat Cynthia Nixon for New York governor. It’s the second grassroots organization to endorse the New York City actor in two days.

On Monday, the New York City-based progressive group New York Communities for Change, which advocates for tenant’s rights and affordable housing, endorsed Nixon, saying that Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo “caters” too much to the real estate industry.

On Tuesday, the government reform group Citizen Action endorsed Nixon. The group’s Jessica Wisneski says that “although the governor is quick to claim progressive bona fides," Cuomo has not followed through on promises to pass progressive measures.

“What should be simple things, like democracy reforms massive voting rights, campaign finance reform. These are all things the governor has failed to do for now eight budget cycles,” Wisneski said. “But Cynthia Nixon is taking those things very seriously and will push boldly forward for them. And that’s the kind of candidate we want to get behind." 

Citizen Action also endorsed New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams for Lieutenant Governor. Williams wants to primary incumbent Kathy Hochul for the job.

Wisneski and several dozen other Citizen Action members are also committee members in the progressive leaning Working Families Party, or WFP. Both Cuomo and Nixon are seeking the minor party’s endorsement. Cuomo received the endorsement in 2014, but some party members, including Wisneski, don’t believe the governor lived up to his promises made then, to help Democrats win seats and gain control over the Republican-led state Senate.

“Today’s endorsement helps secure our vote for Cynthia Nixon for governor when we do the WFP process,” Wisneski said.

The party holds its convention next month. Some unions are also members of the Working Families Party and some of their members are leaning towards endorsing Cuomo.

A spokeswoman for the governor’s campaign did not have an immediate reaction Tuesday. 

Cuomo, meanwhile, released a bill that would ban employers from asking about a job applicant’s prior salary amount, to try to correct what the governor says is a “persistent gender wage gap” in New York and the nation. Women make just 80 percent of what men make in similar jobs with similar education and experience.   

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of public radio stations in New York state. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.
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