On Monday, the actress and writer perhaps best known for her role as the red-headed lawyer on the television show Sex and the City announced she would be stepping into the political arena. After she shared a video announcing her bid for the New York governorship, immediate reactions to Cynthia Nixon's campaign appeared to be largely positive, if Twitter was any indication.
Right off the bat, Nixon found support both from within the entertainment industry and from outside of it. "CYNTHIA NIXON FOR GOVERNOR OF NEW YORK ! #myFULLsupport - she is one of kind - brilliant - brave bold and so smart - a true leader #NIXON4NY," tweeted comedian and actress Rosie O'Donnell.
Appealing largely to New York City subway commuters and parents who send their children to public schools, Nixon's campaign video positioned herself as an of-the-earth New York resident, particularly in contrast to her opponent — two-term New York governor Andrew Cuomo. Though Nixon's campaign is only in its very early stages, many early supporters seemed thrilled to see Cuomo challenged at all.
"Really gonna try not to let resentment dictate my assessment of Cynthia Nixon's politics, soon as I'm done running around the block banging a gong and howling GET THAT SUCKER," tweeted journalist Ryan Cooper, presumably of Cuomo.
Just as thrilling for many, it seemed, was her heavy emphasis on reforming New York City's subway system. The Metropolitan Transit Authority, better known colloquially as the MTA, has been plagued with rider complaints as signal systems and decreased train speeds reportedly lead to increased delays and slower commutes.
Nixon has so far made MTA repairs and reform the most significant portion of her campaign website, tagging the platform as #CUOMOSMTA. "Governor Cuomo has been focused on making superficial, cosmetic changes rather than fixing the real problems," her website reads. The description continues:
He has completely neglected the non-glamorous infrastructure work that actually keeps the subway functioning... Governor Cuomo even proposed spending hundreds of millions of dollars on an LED light show on the bridges to attract tourists, while below ground, native New Yorkers are trapped in packed, sweaty train cars.
Many on Twitter, it seemed, were impressed by her decision to emphasize the city's infrastructure. "Cynthia Nixon is running on the MTA grievance platform, I'm screaming," tweeted Kelly Weill, a reporter for The Daily Beast.
Similarly, user @joopiterbeats chimed in that they would gladly back Nixon if she intends to focus on the city's subways. "Cynthia Nixon has my vote based purely on the fact she’s planning on tackling the subway system. I’m sick of the MTA and these god awful trains," they wrote.
The other major portion of Nixon's campaign announcement focused on funding public schools. Though currently afforded less real estate on her website relative to subway reform, her video and the biography portion of her campaign page emphasized that she is a "public school graduate."
"I'm a proud public school graduate and a prouder public school parent," she says in the video's voice over.
Similarly, she has penned several op-eds which mention education funding reform, including one for Lohud.com, in which she compares Gov. Cuomo's approach to education to that of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos':
"He also wants to increase the number of privately-run charter schools in New York City by more than 50 percent," she wrote of Cuomo for the website in March of 2017. "And he has been a loud proponent of private school tax credits, essentially a backdoor voucher system. These are policies we expect from Betsy DeVos, but from Andrew Cuomo?"
So far, her move to focus on two systems which affect large swaths of the public — education and transportation — seems to be going well. "Cynthia Nixon, an out gay woman, a fierce PP advocate, looking to raise funding for public schools, as well as improve the subway system is running for governor; and I'm so excited!!" tweeted user @livvecchio. "Activism like this is what we need in NY."