Gov. Andrew Cuomo easily won his party’s nomination Wednesday, claiming more than 95 percent of the votes cast by delegates. His primary opponent, liberal activist Cynthia Nixon, received only a smattering of votes — and a few boos — requiring her to secure enough petitions to remain on the Democratic ballot.
It wasn’t a surprise: Cuomo is the de facto leader of the party and the convention is run by his allies.
“We really do have the anti-Washington agenda,” Cuomo told reporters following his nomination. “This was really an overwhelming show of support, frankly more than I expected.”
Underscoring Cuomo’s total control of the party apparatus, Nixon was not even invited to speak at the convention but attended anyway. Asked about Clinton’s support for Cuomo, she said voters won’t make their decisions based on endorsements. Nixon can still appear on the September Democratic primary ticket by collecting voter signatures; she will already appear on the November ballot as the nominee of the left-leaning Working Families Party.
“Andrew Cuomo can get all the endorsements he wants,” she said. “I think at the end of the day, voters vote on peoples’ records, not on surrogates.”
Failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was the keynote speaker, telling the friendly crowd that Democrats can win elections by sticking to their core principles when it comes to education, health care, equality and the environment.
She dismissed criticism that her party has no “bold ideas.”
“I don’t know about you, but I think it’s a bold idea that everyone in this country should have a decent standard of living,” she said.
While some liberal Democrats question Clinton’s progressive credentials, the former U.S. senator and secretary of state received a warm welcome in her home state, with cheers and applause greeting her as she took the stage.
The party also will nominate its candidate to succeed ex-Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who resigned earlier this month. Two Democrats have so far formally announced their intention to run: New York City Public Advocate Letitia James and Leecia Eve, a Buffalo attorney and former adviser to Clinton and Cuomo.
James has emerged as the frontrunner, securing endorsements from Cuomo and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, a Bronx Democrat.
Former Vice President Joe Biden is scheduled to address the convention on Thursday.