Cynthia Nixon battles Andrew Cuomo over 'sexist' debate hall temperature

Lydia FlemingAug 30, 2018

Just hours before Gov. Andrew Cuomo and challenger Cynthia Nixon face off in their first - and likely only - Democratic primary debate, the two-term incumbent's campaign released a new television ad featuring clips of Nixon praising the man she is running against.

Cuomo speaks at the Democratic gubernatorial primary debate with Cynthia Nixon at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York August 29, 2018. Two topics in particular got the two trading jabs. immigration and public transportation. For his part, Cuomo accused Nixon of calling in favors to the mayor's office.

"Excuse me, can you stop interrupting", Cuomo exclaimed.

"Marijuana has been legal for white people for a long time", said Nixon. The biggest question heading in, given his considerable apparent lead, is whether Cuomo can sit tight - the pair will both be seated for the duration - and steer clear of any comment or confrontation that might throw him off course.

Nixon accused Gov. Cuomo of lying multiple times, and routinely interrupted the governor during the debate. Nixon, he said, had an opportunity to lay out her progressive vision for the state, whereas Cuomo held his own and avoided any serious missteps that could go viral and change the race. Nixon called him a political insider who has neglected to address issues such as corruption and New York City's crumbling subway system.

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Nixon, the candidate of activists who want to dismantle the conservative wing of the state's Democratic Party, was largely able to deliver that message.

"The only caveat is if God strikes me down", Cuomo said. Asked about making it easier for workers to strike, Nixon said that she meant to empower people who simply wanted fair wages and saw no other resort.

"My opponent lives in the world of fiction, I live in the world of fact", Cuomo said of Nixon at one point, apparently referring to her experience as an actress.

The victor of the Democratic primary faces Republican Marc Molinaro and independent Stephanie Miner in November.

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