"I love New York, and today I'm announcing my candidacy for governor," she revealed on Twitter.
According to her campaign press release, Nixon will be spending the coming weeks traveling across the state to hear from voters.
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She will challenge 60-year-old Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a two-term incumbent, in New York’s Democratic primary in September.
Here are seven things to know about Cynthia Nixon:
She was born and bred in New York.
Nixon, 51, was born on April 9, 1966 and raised in the Upper West Side with her mother. In her campaign video, Nixon said she grew up “in a one-bedroom fifth floor walk-up.”
She later attended Hunter College High School and Barnard College before breaking out into her Broadway career primarily to save money to support herself through college, she told the New York Times in 2012.
Nixon, who identified herself as bisexual in 2012, was in a relationship with David Mozes from 1988 to 2003. The couple have two children together.
In 2004, Nixon began dating activist Christine Marinoni and they eventually married in 2012. They have one child together.
Nixon is a Tony, Grammy and Emmy Award-winner.
For her role as lawyer Miranda Hobbes on “Sex and the City,” Nixon was awarded an Emmy Award in 2004 for outstanding supporting actress, and a Screen Actors Guild Award in 2002 and 2004 for outstanding performance by an ensemble in a comedy series.
Nixon made her Broadway debut in 1980 in the revival of “The Philadelphia Story” and later earned Tony Awards for her foles in “Rabbit Hole” (2006) and “The Little Foxes” (2017).
She was awarded a Grammy in 2009 for her “An Inconvenient Truth” spoken word album.
She’s a survivor of breast cancer.
In 2006, Nixon was diagnosed with breast cancer and admitted to Good Morning America in 2008 that she initially wanted to keep the news to herself but later became the official spokeswoman for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation.
"I want them [women] most to hear me saying that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. So the only thing to really be afraid of is if you don't go get your mammograms, because there's some part of you that doesn't want to know, and that's the thing that's going to trip you up. That's the thing that could have a really bad endgame," she said.
Nixon’s cancer was caught at an early stage and required a lumpectomy and radiation, but no chemotherapy.
She’s a longtime activist.
Nixon first made political headlines during the 2011 campaign to legalize same-sex marriage in New York. During that campaign, she lobbied state lawmakers in Albany and was later honored by GLAAD and the Human Rights Campaign with its Visibility Award for her work advocating for marriage equality.
In January, Nixon was also among a group of celebrity activists that came together for "the People's State of the Union,” an alternative event to President Donald Trump's first State of the Union speech.
She has in the past been very vocal about women’s health care and on education issues, serving on de Blasio's advisory board for the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City.
As a spokesperson for the Alliance for Quality Education, Nixon recently spoke out against Gov. Cuomo’s proposed education budget.
“Governor Cuomo had a chance today to put the next generation of New Yorkers first,” she said in a January 2018 AQE statement. “Instead, he proposed yet another budget that will keep New York at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to educational equity and justice. Governor Cuomo claims he has provided record increases in education funding, but in reality, he has created a record spending gap between the wealthiest and poorest school districts.”
If elected, she would make history.
Nixon would become the first female governor and first openly gay governor in New York history.
About her platform
“We are now the most unequal state in the entire country, with both incredible wealth and extreme poverty,” Nixon said in a video posted on Twitter announcing her candidacy.
According to her campaign website, Nixon’s state platform focuses on income inequality, renewable energy, access to health care, concerns about mass incarceration, passing the DREAM Act and “fixing our broken subway.”
She also emphasizes strengthening and renewing expiring rent laws to avoid “raising rents, and forcing people out of their homes.”
“Andrew Cuomo has given massive tax breaks to corporations and the super rich while starving the state and its cities of the most basic services and decimating our infrastructure,” Nixon wrote on her campaign site. “His inhumane budgets have been passed on the backs of our children, our working and middle class, and our elderly.”
“Together,” she added, “we could show the entire country and the world that in the era of Donald Trump, New Yorkers will come together and lead our nation forward.”
Chances against Cuomo
“Her campaign may test the appetite of New Yorkers for a celebrity leader in the age of President Trump, a deeply unpopular figure here among Democrats,” the New York Times reported.
But Nixon has her work cut out for her. A Siena College poll released Monday showed Cuomo leading her 66 percent to 19 percent among registered Democrats, and by a similar margin among self-identified liberals, AP reported. The poll of 772 registered voters was conducted March 11-16. The margin of error is plus or minus 4 percentage points.
Cuomo, whose approval ratings have dropped below 50 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University Poll released in February, recently mocked the celebrity status the Grammy, Emmy and Tony winner could bring to the race.
"Normally name recognition is relevant when it has some connection to the endeavor," Cuomo said earlier this month. "If it was just about name recognition, then I'm hoping that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and Billy Joel don't get into the race."
Jefrey Pollock, pollster and political adviser to Cuomo and other prominent Democrats, told AP that celebrity isn't likely to trump governing experience in the voting booth.
"Over and over in our research, Democratic primary voters say they're not looking for an outsider because they look to Washington, D.C., and see what the outsider has meant to this country," Pollock said.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.