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Although just announced yesterday, Cynthia Nixon’s bid for New York governor is already stirring the political pot.
One of her biggest critics so far is Christine Quinn, the former New York City Council speaker and mayoral candidate.
“Cynthia Nixon was opposed to having a qualified lesbian become mayor of New York City,” Quinn said in an interview with the New York Post. “Now she wants to be an unqualified lesbian to be the governor of New York. You have to be qualified and have experience. She isn’t qualified to be the governor.”
Quinn is openly gay and a supporter of New York’s current governor, Andrew Cuomo.
The “unqualified” comment seems to stem from Nixon — despite having a history of political activism — having never run for or held office.
“[Nixon is] an accomplished actress, a supporter of political causes and that’s a good thing. Participating in rallies is important,” Quinn said. “But she’s never run an organization. Being an actress and celebrity doesn’t make you qualified for public office. This is a time to move away from celebrity and toward progressive leadership.”
Quinn also said that she thought the election’s focus should be on uniting and “focusing on winning control of the state Senate and taking back the House of Representatives.”
Nixon responded by downplaying the “lesbian” remark and focusing on the state government and Cuomo.
“Her being a lesbian and my being a lesbian” is not the issue, Nixon said, adding that the race should be about “the corruption in Albany.”
The Post said Nixon also cited Gov. Cuomo’s $30 million in donations, alleging that they all came from corporate and special interests.
Quinn later took to Twitter to say Nixon’s identity “has no bearing on her candidacy and it was not my intention to suggest it did.” She continued in a series of tweets, “I would never, EVER, criticize someone because of their identity. I’ve experienced it time and time again, and would never support it or condone it. As a lesbian who ran one of the most high profile races in the country, i know what that’s like. And I know it’s imperative that we encourage more members of our community to run for office.”
She added, “Cynthia Nixon aggressively opposed my candidacy in New York despite my qualifications for the office and despite my strong progressive credentials. I was attempting to make a comparison between the two of us.”
The New York Democratic primary is Sept. 13.
March 20, 12:20 p.m. Updated with Quinn tweets.
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