ALBANY, N.Y. — "Sex and the City" star Cynthia Nixon said Wednesday black women are the cornerstone and backbone of the Democratic Party, and "we need to let them lead."
Appearing on the nationally syndicated "Wendy Williams Show" in her first television interview as a New York gubernatorial candidate, Nixon criticized two-term incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo for hammering out the state budget with three other men — excluding the Senate Democratic leader, a black woman.
Nixon said black women "will stop showing up for the Democratic Party if the Democratic Party doesn't start showing up for them."
Her comment came after she mentioned that "an amazing African American woman" — Andrea Stewart-Cousins — wasn't included in weeks of closed-door talks that led to last Sunday's passage of the $168.3 billion budget.
When the subject on the show turned to the legalization of marijuana, Nixon said she was "absolutely" for it.
"Let's capture some of that revenue" from legalized sales of marijuana, she said.
Nixon, who has never held an elected office, is challenging Cuomo for the Democratic Party nomination in September's primary. Cuomo defended his record during an interview aired on NY1 on Tuesday night, saying it is better than any other New York governor in modern history, which would include his father, Mario, who was governor from 1983-1994.
"What you need is somebody who understands the process and understands how to get things done, and cut through the politics and cut through the blather," Cuomo said. "And I think that's what you see with me."
Nixon traveled upstate Wednesday to make her first public upstate appearance outside Albany since announcing her run last month. She met with environmental activists and residents of Hoosick Falls, a village near the Vermont border whose drinking water was contaminated by the toxic chemical PFOA, which is used in manufacturing at a local plastics plant.
The contamination was uncovered in 2014, but a cleanup effort by the state wasn't started until early 2016. Nixon called the delay "egregious" and "shocking."
"There is an enormous amount of damage that has been done to this community, to people's bodies and to people's health," Nixon said.
The Cuomo administration countered that the state's response to the village's water problems has been "unprecedented," with more than $25 million spent so far on a new water treatment system for the village and 900 home filtration systems installed for residents with private wells.
"Our commitment to the Hoosick Falls community has been unwavering and will remain so until the job is done," Cuomo spokesman Richard Azzopardi said.