Capitol Watch: Nixon undaunted; Sen. Felder targeted by Dems
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — In New York state government and political news, Democratic state convention delegates overwhelmingly voted for incumbent Andrew Cuomo to be the party’s candidate for governor this November, but actress and activist Cynthia Nixon says she’s a viable candidate.
Nixon, a longtime Manhattan-based activist and actress, now has to gather enough voter signatures from around the state to get a spot on the September Democratic primary ballot.
Meanwhile, convention delegates approved a mostly symbolic resolution casting Sen. Simcha (SIHM’-kuh) Felder out of the Democratic Party for his continued support of GOP leadership in the Senate.
NIXON. NOW WHAT?
Cynthia Nixon never anticipated winning the New York Democratic Party’s nomination at the state convention on Long Island.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo won more than 95 percent of the votes cast by delegates at the carefully scripted gathering, which was controlled by Cuomo allies. Now Nixon will have to collect enough voter signatures from around the state to win a place on the September Democratic primary ballot.
“I’m not a protest candidate,” the activist and star of “Sex and the City” told reporters before the delegates voted this week. “I’m a viable candidate who is really running hard for the Democratic nomination.”
Nixon was not invited to speak at the convention.
She’ll have a guaranteed place on the ballot in November, thanks to her nomination by the Working Families Party.
Democrats gathered at the party’s convention in Hempstead passed a largely symbolic resolution casting state Sen. Simcha Felder, of Brooklyn, out of its ranks because of his continued support for Republican leadership of the New York Senate.
Democrats have 32 seats in the 63-seat Senate, but Republicans remain in charge, thanks to Felder’s support.
The resolution is a stinging rebuke for the senator, but it remains to be seen whether it will have any practical impact. Felder has easily won his largely Orthodox Jewish district each election since 2012.
Felder, who was not present at the convention, has not responded to the resolution.
Two Senate Republican committee chairmen are holding a roundtable discussion on legislation aimed at protecting Long Island’s water quality.
Sen. Kemp Hannon, of Nassau County, and Sen. Tom O’Mara, of Chemung County, will sit down with local officials and residents Tuesday in the Little Theater in Roosevelt Hall at Farmingdale State College. Hannon, of Garden City, chairs the Senate Health Committee, while O’Mara, of Big Flats, is chairman of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee.
They’ll be talking about the sale and use of non-agricultural low-nitrogen fertilizer.
Hannon has sponsored a bill that would require non-agricultural fertilizer sold on Long Island to contain no more than 12 percent nitrogen by weight. The measure would also require the state Department of Environmental Conservation to issue a report by June 2020 on expanding the provisions to upstate areas.
High levels of nitrogen in fertilizers are often blamed for contributing to algae blooms in rivers, lakes and coastal areas, posing a threat to drinking water quality, and potentially sickening swimmers and harming aquatic life.
The Assembly has passed its version of the bill, sponsored by Democrat Steven Englebright of Suffolk County.
The current state budget includes $65 million that Cuomo had sought to fight algae blooms in upstate lakes, part of the state’s $2.5 billion effort to improve drinking water and wastewater infrastructure statewide.
Klepper reported from Hempstead, N.Y.