83° Good Evening
83° Good Evening

New York governor’s race: Andrew M. Cuomo, Cynthia Nixon, Marc Molinaro among the candidates

Cuomo is being challenged by several other candidates.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is being challenged by

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is being challenged by Cynthia Nixon, Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, right, and others. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Dimitrios Kambouris; Drew Angerer; Dutchess County executive

Incumbent Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo will have several people on the ballot with him in November’s gubernatorial election.

He is being challenged by actress Cynthia Nixon, who was endorsed by the Working Families Party; Republican Marc Molinaro, Independent Stephanie Miner are others.

A Quinnipiac Poll released Wednesday has Cuomo besting Nixon in a Democratic primary vote 59-23 percent. Registered voters who were polled also favored the governor (43 percent) in a general election matchup that included Nixon (13 percent), Molinaro (23 percent) and other third-party candidates.

Nixon’s spokeswoman, Lauren Hitt, however, argued that the poll is a “poor reflection” of likely voters.

“Polls of registered voters clearly aren’t capturing the kind of Democrats who have been turning out to vote in primaries — the most motivated, most progressive part of the base,” Hitt said, pointing to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s victory in the congressional primary election as proof.

Scroll down to read more about the candidates.

Andrew M. Cuomo

Cuomo, who was first elected governor in 2011, is seeking his third term. The Queens native was previously New York attorney general, U.S. secretary of Housing and Urban Development and chair of the New York City Homeless Commission.

In his most recent State of the State address, he listed several priorities, including reforming the criminal justice system, holding pharmaceutical distributors responsible for their role in the opioid crisis and fighting the federal government on its tax plan and policies on immigration, abortion, the environment and health care.

Cuomo has been an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump and has vowed several times to fight his policies.

Cynthia Nixon

Nixon, an actress and education advocate, announced her run for governor on March 19.

She quickly criticized Cuomo for the state of the MTA subway system, making the transit system one of the focuses of her campaign announcement. “Governor Cuomo has been focused on making superficial, cosmetic changes rather than fixing the real problems,” it says on Nixon’s campaign website. “He has completely neglected the non-glamorous infrastructure work that actually keeps the subway functioning.”

Nixon also is critical of the widening gap between the rich and poor in the state, accusing the governor of being beholden to “corporate interests and wealthy donors.”

Some of her initiatives include reforming the state’s rent laws to close loopholes that drive up costs, passing the Reproductive Health Act, banning “pay-to-play” campaign donations from companies seeking business with the state and legalizing marijuana.

Marc Molinaro

The current Dutchess County executive officially became the Republican nominee for governor at the state convention in May.

“Are you ready to believe in New York again?” Molinaro asked in his speech. He promised a “bold property tax cut” and an end to “corporate welfare.”

Molinaro pitched himself as someone who knows what it’s like to struggle, having grown up poor with a single mother, contrasting himself with Cuomo, who comes from a powerful political family.

His political history dates to 1994, when he was elected to serve on the Village of Tivoli board of trustees at the age of 18. He became the youngest mayor in the history of the United States a year later and, at 36, he was the youngest person elected as Dutchess County executive.

Since being elected as Dutchess County executive in 2011, Molinaro has “sought to create a comprehensive economic development strategy, one that more aggressively attracts and retains private sector companies and jobs,” according to the Dutchess County website.

Stephanie Miner

A former mayor of Syracuse, Stephanie Miner announced she is running for governor as an independent under the new party Serve America Movement, which grew from dissatisfaction with the 2016 election.

“New Yorkers have been fed up with politics as usual for far too long,” she said in a statement on her website. “And while I have been a proud Democrat my entire life, sometimes in order to change the system you have to create a new path for real change to happen.”

Miner began her career with Cuomo’s father, former Gov. Mario Cuomo, and worked closely with Hillary Clinton in her 2016 presidential campaign. She became the first female mayor in Syracuse in 2010 and served for two terms.

She rose to statewide attention in 2013 when she wrote a New York Times opinion piece criticizing a Cuomo pension “smoothing” plan that she said would hurt municipalities and property taxpayers.

On her campaign website, she says she wants to restore trust in government by creating a new, independent commission to investigate corruption, prohibiting “giveaways” to campaign contributors and banning anonymous campaign contributions; reform the voting process by allowing same-day registration, early voting and vote by mail; cut property taxes and rebuild infrastructure.

Howie Hawkins

Hawkins, who previously ran for governor in 2014 and 2010, announced in April he is running again on the Green Party ticket.

“Progressives need to raise our expectations and demand more,” Hawkins said, adding that his presence in the campaign moves Cuomo to the left.

“What our little Green Party does matters and we hope to make a difference in this campaign,” he said.

Hawkins advocates for clean energy, guaranteed health care, affordable housing and marijuana legalization, among other progressive policies.

Larry Sharpe

Sharpe is a native New Yorker, businessman and a veteran of the Marine Corps, who is running for the state’s top executive seat as a Libertarian. He credits his seven years in the military with developing the skills he believes are needed to be an effective leader, including discipline, teamwork and strategic thinking.

As a businessman, Sharpe got his start in trucking and distribution. He is the managing director of the Neo-Sage Group, which specializes in business training for entrepreneurs. Sharpe has also taught at such universities as Yale, Columbia and John Jay College of Criminal Justice, according to his campaign website.

He believes the key to fixing the college education system in New York lies in institutions working with private businesses to indicate which skills are needed after graduation.

Joel Giambra

Giambra, of Buffalo, is a former county executive of Erie County and Buffalo city comptroller. He originally announced he was running as a Republican, but later withdrew that bid and said he would run as an independent.

“I don’t think my independent message has connected with state Republican leaders who seem intent on continuing the losing formula that all but guarantees a third term for Democrat Andrew Cuomo,” he said.

Some of Giambra’s priorities are creating a debt-free New York in 15 years; changing how the state administers Medicaid by taking the cost burden away from the counties; reforming the criminal justice system by providing inmates with rehabilitative services, repealing mandatory minimum sentences and appointing a statewide public advocate; and legalizing marijuana.

With Newsday

News photos & videos