Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), a leader of the progressive movement whose 2016 presidential run inspired a number of current candidates nationwide to get involved in politics, jumped into New York’s primaries on Monday with a few key endorsements.
“While we need to elect all the progressives running, I would like to offer specific endorsements to two candidates I have known for many years, who are leaders of the progressive movement in New York and who stood with us in 2016: Jumaane Williams for lieutenant governor and Zephyr Teachout for attorney general,” Sanders said in a statement.
Nixon, an actress and progressive activist, has trailed by double digits in head-to-head match-ups against Cuomo in advance of Thursday’s primary, while Teachout is in a fairly wide-open race against Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY) and New York City Public Advocate Letitia James.
The New York Times endorsed Teachout and Williams but stood behind Cuomo despite a recent article from the editorial board calling on him to apologize for mailers sent by the New York State Democratic Committee charging that Nixon has been “silent on the rise of anti-Semitism" and falsely saying that she supports the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who does not have a completely copacetic relationship with Cuomo, did not endorse in the governor’s race either.
Sanders had previously endorsed Teachout during her unsuccessful 2016 run for Congress. Nixon has the backing of Our Revolution, the political outfit created as an offshoot of Sanders' presidential run.
In April, Sanders was quoted in The New York Times saying “Governor Cuomo has a strong record, he has done some very good things, obviously there are areas where I disagree with him. Cynthia seems to be generating a lot of grass-roots enthusiasm running on a progressive platform.”