ALBANY — Hillary Clinton will endorse Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo for a third term at the Democratic state convention this week as he seeks to beat back a challenge from Cynthia Nixon, officials said Monday.
Clinton, the Democrats’ 2016 presidential nominee and former New York senator, is slated to be the keynote speaker as the convention opens Wednesday at Hofstra University.
Cuomo has long been a Clinton political friend, having worked as federal housing secretary in President Bill Clinton’s second term. In 2016, Cuomo campaigned for Clinton as she beat Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in New York’s presidential primary in what proved to be a key contest in the fight for the nomination.
The endorsement of Cuomo will mark one of the few Clinton has made since losing the presidential election.
“I look forward to joining Governor Andrew Cuomo and all New Yorkers in my home state at this celebration of our Democratic values as we work to win back the U.S. House and elect a Democratic State Senate majority in New York,” Clinton said in a statement.
Democratic officials announced the Clinton appearance not long after Nixon, a former star of “Sex in the City,” said in a surprise announcement that she would attend the Democratic convention.
Nixon, who on Saturday was endorsed by the Working Families Party, said that she won’t be “scared out of the room” by the Democrats who back Cuomo.
“The governor and his allies have bullied progressive community groups and rallied the full force of the big-money establishment because they know he doesn’t have any progressive credentials to stand on,” Nixon said. “But I won’t be scared out of the room. New Yorkers deserve a choice.”
The Cuomo campaign didn’t respond to a request for comment on Nixon’s statement on Monday.
Nixon will not seek to challenge Cuomo’s support in a vote on the convention floor, according to a spokeswoman for her campaign. Nor will Nixon attempt to garner 25 percent of the delegates’ vote — the threshold needed to automatically gain a spot on the primary ballot and avoid gathering petition signatures, the spokeswoman said. Nixon previously said she expected to go the petition route.