Actor-Turned-Candidate Cynthia Nixon Loses But Pledges to Keep Fighting
The party was over quickly in Brooklyn, where the 'Sex and the City' star hoped to celebrate a victory.
Cynthia Nixon, who played Miranda on the hit show Sex and the City and took the Democratic Party primary by storm when she entered the race in March, will not be the next governor of the state of New York. That much was obvious quickly.
As soon as the polls closed on Thursday night, her opponent, incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo, took a lead. Within about 45 minutes, she was declared the loser.
"They already called it for Cuomo," one of her campaign press aides said as he provided a wristband to a journalist entering her campaign watch party in south Brooklyn.
Inside, the mood was mixed, as some of the other candidates on the Working Families Party slate appeared to still have a chance in their elections.
The Nixon voters inside didn't even have a chance to hold out hope for her to eke out a victory, a possibility that always seemed remote but never seemed impossible, particularly in light of the stumbles Cuomo's campaign had taken in recent weeks.
For the next hour after the race was called, party attendees nibbled on chicken fingers and Swedish meatballs and waited for the candidate to come out and speak. Held at a Mediterranean lounge, one-third of the venue smelled like hookah and an attendee described it to another as the worst place he'd ever been to for such an event.
Around 10:45 p.m., only two hours after the polls closed, Nixon emerged to thunderous applause and the sound of the Jay-Z song "Empire State of Mind."
"While the result tonight was not what we hoped for, I am not discouraged," she said. "I am inspired, and I hope you are, too."
At one point during her lengthy concession speech, the crowd broke out into chants of "Cynthia! Cynthia!" She responded, "I love you too! I love you too!"
As she had throughout the campaign, Nixon demonstrated a strong grasp of policy in her speech and made the case that she had already achieved victory, pushing the governor to the left on issues like marijuana legalization and equitable policing.
"Thank you all for believing and fighting and leaving everything on the field," she said. "We started something in New York and it doesn’t end today. This is just the beginning. And I know that together we will win this fight."
While Nixon pledged to keep up the fight, she didn't promise to remain active in New York politics.
After a bruising six months, she's sure to take some time off and revel in being left alone by the press corps. While things didn't turn out her way on Thursday, she took on a sitting governor, made him sweat and revealed herself to be quite the politician. Not bad for someone who detractors dismissed as "just an actor."