ALBANY — The national progressive group Democracy for America said Wednesday it will endorse Cynthia Nixon in her challenge to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo for the Democratic nomination for governor.
“Governor Andrew Cuomo is clearly rattled and that’s why New Yorkers are seeing him scrambling to push out progressive reforms after working for years with Republicans and fake Democrats to block them,” said Charles Chamberlain, executive director of the group, which funds and works for liberal candidates.
Chamberlain referred to an argument by Nixon that Cuomo worked closely with the Republican majority of the State Senate.
Cuomo has said the relationship helped him dig the state out of a multibillion dollar deficit, while also enabling him to win passage of progressive legislation such as same-sex marriage and gun control.
“But let’s be clear: Cuomo only acts like a progressive when he’s being challenged by powerful progressive women capable of defeating him,” Chamberlain said. “New Yorkers aren’t going to be fooled by Cuomo’s new ‘progressive’ dog-and-pony show.”
The liberal political action committee founded by former Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean is based in South Burlington, Vermont, and endorsed Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders in the 2016 presidential campaign.
The group said it expects to spend $12 million this year on an array of progressive candidates nationwide and has 150,000 members in New York State.
“DFA knows that campaigns are built from the bottom-up — through grass roots canvassing, phone-banking, and fundraising,” Nixon said. “I am excited to work with DFA in building a progressive movement here in New York.”
Nixon already has the liberal Working Families Party endorsement. Cuomo who had run on the influential minor party line in the past pulled out of contention the night before a Working Families Party meeting where it was clear party leaders would back Nixon.
Polls show Cuomo has a 40 percentage point lead over Nixon among Democrats. The September Democratic primary traditionally is dominated by liberal Democratic voters.
There was no immediate comment from the Cuomo campaign.
The primary winner is expected to face likely Republican nominee Marc Molinaro, the Dutchess County executive.