ALBANY — Count Cynthia Nixon among the left-leaning politicians who identify with democratic socialism.
Nixon, the former Sex and the City star from Manhattan challenging Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a Democratic primary, issued a statement to Politico this week confirming her support for the political philosophy, saying it aligns with many of her long-held policy positions.
Her public support for democratic socialism comes after endorsing Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a self-described socialist, ahead of the Bronx Democrat’s surprise June 26 primary victory over longtime Queens Rep. Joe Crowley.
“Some more establishment, corporate Democrats get very scared by this term but if democratic socialism means that you believe health care, housing, education and the things we need to thrive should be a basic right not a privilege, then count me in,” Nixon said in the statement.
Nixon’s support for the philosophy comes as she runs a Democratic primary campaign from Cuomo’s left, positioning herself as a more-liberal alternative to the two-term incumbent.
New York’s state-level primary is Sept. 13 this year.
Democratic socialism was popularized in recent years by Bernie Sanders, who promoted the platform during his 2016 run in the Democratic presidential primary against Hillary Clinton.
Nixon backed Clinton in that race but has since been endorsed by Our Revolution, the political-organizing group that sprung from Sanders’ campaign.
In her statement, Nixon pointed to her support for several issues that align with those favored by democratic socialists, including Medicare for all, higher taxes on the wealthy and refusing to accept corporate donations.
“As Martin Luther King put it, call it democracy or call it democratic socialism, but we have to have a better distribution of wealth in this country,” she said.
A Cuomo campaign spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, the Republican candidate for governor, called on Cuomo to reject democratic socialism.
“Andrew Cuomo has been playing follow the leader with self-proclaimed socialist Cynthia Nixon, and it’s time he took a stand,” Molinaro said in a statement.