Cynthia Nixon slams 'Cuomo's MTA' for delay before 1st campaign event

NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon held her first campaign event Tuesday, one that she nearly missed the start of due to a subway delay.

The "Sex and the City" actress said one of the reasons she's running in the Democratic primary against Gov. Andrew Cuomo is because of the poor condition of New York City's subway system.

She experienced that firsthand as she was on her way to her first official campaign event in Brooklyn after announcing her candidacy the day before.

The liberal activist told the crowd at the Bethesda Healing Center that the ride, which should have been 30 minutes, took vastly longer and that she just made it to the event.

She blamed it on "Cuomo's MTA," as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority oversees the subways, and Cuomo controls the MTA.

An MTA spokesman said on Twitter there had been a sick passenger.

Nixon also criticized Cuomo for what she calls favoring corporations and the rich over average New Yorkers, blaming inequality in the state on policy choices like tax cuts while calling out corruption in state government.

"If Washington is a swamp, Albany is a cesspool," she said.

She cited a former Cuomo top aide, Joseph Percoco, who was convicted this month on federal bribery and fraud charges. Cuomo was not accused of any wrongdoing, but the trial put a spotlight on Albany's pay-to-play culture.

Nixon said she voted for Cuomo eight years ago in hopes of his being a "real Democrat," but that "New York's eight years under the Cuomo administration have been an exercise in living with disappointment, dysfunction, and dishonesty."

She said the state could have tackled a range of issues, from fully funding public schools to fixing the beleaguered subway system and enacting campaign finance reform.

A spokesman for the governor's re-election campaign didn't immediately comment Tuesday. But the campaign has previously pointed to Cuomo's achievements including legalizing gay marriage, tightening gun restrictions, raising the minimum wage, expanding public education funding and banning fracking.

A new poll released Monday showed Cuomo holding big leads over two potential Republican challengers and Nixon.

The Siena College poll found that registered voters in New York state prefer Cuomo over Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro by 57 percent to 29 percent. They also favor Cuomo over state Sen. John DeFrancisco, of Syracuse, 57 percent to 28 percent, according to the poll. Democrats overwhelmingly favor Cuomo over Nixon, a potential primary challenger, by 66 percent to 19 percent.
Nixon is a supporter of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, a fellow Democrat who often clashes with Cuomo on a variety of issues. According to Siena pollster Steven Greenberg, Nixon "is far from a household name in New York, though she is better known than either Molinaro or DeFrancisco."

Nixon grew up in New York City, where she was raised by her single mother in a one bedroom, fifth-floor walk-up apartment. She began working as an actor when she was 12 years old to earn money to pay for her college education, and she was able to put herself through Barnard College at Columbia University.

She attended New York City public schools, and her three children are all New York City public school students or graduates. She would be the first woman elected to New York's highest office, and its first LGBTQ governor as well.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)

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