Cynthia Nixon tells PEOPLE that all three of her Sex and the City costars have "expressed love, support and excitement" about her political debut
Just minutes after Nixon announced her bid on March 19, Davis took to Twitter to enthusiastically endorse her former costar and say she would be an “excellent governor.”
Now Nixon tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue that all three of her Sex and the City costars — including Davis, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kim Cattrall — have “expressed love, support and excitement” about her political debut.
“I’m grateful for all of the support I’ve received from my Sex and the City community,” says Nixon, who is challenging New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the Democratic primary. “We worked on an incredible series for many years together, and my colleagues’ ongoing support for my years of activism, and now my campaign, means a lot to me.”
Cattrall also reacted to Nixon’s announcement on Twitter last week, responding to a fan who asked, “Kim, what do you think of Cynthia running?!”
“I support & respect any former colleague’s right to make their own career choices,” Cattrall said.
Asked about Cattrall’s tweet, which came in the wake of Cattrall’s recent public falling out with Parker, Nixon replied, “I’ve spoken to all three of my costars and they have expressed love, support, and excitement.”
Read on for more on Nixon’s campaign and her full Q&A with PEOPLE.
Why did you decide to jump into politics now — just when it seems it is at its most brutally ugly?
The election of Donald Trump was a wake-up call for women across this country. This year, thousands of women all over America (including me) are running for office for the first time. We’ve realized that if we want things to finally change, we’ll need to step up and do it ourselves. As Shirley Chisholm once said, “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” That’s what I and thousand of women across this country have decided to do this year.
What do you think you can do better than Gov. Cuomo?
New York’s eight years under the Cuomo administration have been an exercise in living with disappointment, dysfunction and dishonesty.
Our subway is a disaster – I know because I ride it every day. But for eight years, all Andrew Cuomo has done is use the MTA like an ATM, taking money out for his other pet projects. Cuomo ran as a reformer and said he was going to clean up Albany. Instead, he’s only made it worse. Under this governor, New York is the single most unequal state in the country, and the gap between our richest and poorest schools is wider than it’s ever been.
We’re tired of the corruption and dysfunction in Albany. We’re tired of politicians who campaign as progressives but govern as top-down conservatives. The plain truth is, we desperately need a change in Albany, and we’re not going to get it from Gov. Cuomo. We want our state back. I’m running to show New Yorkers that they have a choice, and that we don’t have to settle for the way things are.
For more on Cynthia Nixon’s run for New York governor, pick up the new issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now.
Given how much you rely on the New York City subway, how much do you have to pad your campaign schedule to allow for delays and breakdowns?
We try to build in extra time, but with Cuomo’s MTA, it’s never enough. Our first-ever campaign event, for example, should have been a 30-minute subway ride from my house. We gave ourselves 90 minutes to get there, and we still almost didn’t make it in time.
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What do your kids [Samantha, 20, Charles Ezekiel, 14, and Max Ellington, 6] think about your candidacy?
They’re excited and they’re proud, but I think they also worry about what it means for our family and our time together. It’s something we think about a lot.
How did you prepare them and [your wife Christine Marinoni] for how ugly politics can get?
In a strange way, I think my family is probably more prepared than most for the ugliness that comes with a political campaign. The fact is, when you’re a woman on television, people say some pretty nasty things about you. That’s true of being a gay woman too. So this isn’t entirely new to us. And it is always good to remember Michelle Obama’s directive to her children: “When they go low, we go high.” I think about that a lot.
You’ve already been attacked as “unqualified” and your candidacy dismissed as part of the “silly season.” What is your plan for being taken seriously?
It’s pretty simple: I have to introduce myself to voters and tell them my story. For the last 17 years, I’ve been fighting for better schools and more equitable education funding all across New York state. As a spokesperson and organizer for the Alliance for Quality Education, I’ve traveled the state, met with legislators, and spoken out in Albany to demand that public schools in every district get the resources they need, irrespective of their students’ skin color or their parents’ income.
I’ve been an outspoken advocate for LGBT equality here in New York and around the country. As a breast cancer survivor, I’ve given talks about breast cancer all over America helping to educate women about the importance of early detection and being proactive when it comes to treatment. And I’ve been an advocate for women’s reproductive rights since I was a teenager. I’ve stood with Planned Parenthood time and time again, including in Albany to push for the full Women’s Equality Agenda, which was defeated by Andrew Cuomo’s Republican-controlled Senate.
To me that sounds like the resume of the kind of fighter that New York needs right now, and a candidate who deserves to be taken seriously. I have the most important thing an elected leader should have — an ambitious vision for how our state can be better for ALL of us, not just the most privileged. In New York, that’s been lacking for too many years.
What makes you qualified to govern the state of New York?
What New York state needs more than anything right now is someone who understands the needs of everyday New Yorkers and their hunger for things to be better. Someone who understands what it’s like to ride the subway every day, and to have kids in public school. Someone who’s not beholden to corporate interests. Someone who’s a real, progressive Democrat.
I’m running for governor because I love this state, but I know that we can do better. We don’t have to settle for the way things are. At a time when Albany is so broken, so mired in corruption, and so beholden to corporate interests, we can’t just leave things up to the professional class of politicians.
Would you campaign with your former costars or are you more eager to have voters completely separate you from Miranda and Sex and the City?
I’m proud of my role as Miranda, and if the popularity of the series will help me to raise awareness of the critical problems I’m running to fix in New York — like inequality, underfunded public schools, mass incarceration, and racial injustice — then I’m comfortable with that.