ALBANY, N.Y. -- In his first press conference following a decisive primary win, Gov. Andrew Cuomo seemed to tell his doubters I told you so.
The governor said suggestions that he was not a progressive or that his challenger Cynthia Nixon was pulling the administration to the left were incorrect. As he did throughout the campaign, he pointed to his administration’s record on issues like the $15 minimum wage, paid family leave, and marriage equality.
“You don’t understand what it means to be a progressive if you think it is a theoretical exercise,” Cuomo said. “There’s no such thing as a theoretical progressive in the Democratic party. You cannot be a progressive without the word progress.”
The governor said “smart” New Yorkers saw through people on the Twitterverse and members of the media who suggested Nixon, an actress and first-time candidate for office, could beat him. He said part of that narrative came from a misinterpretation of the results in June, specifically the surprise victory of upstart Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez after long-time incumbent Joe Crowley in a Bronx congressional primary.
While Cuomo said he was not making a commentary on Ocasio-Cortez or any other winners, he maintained the turnout was especially low because they were the only races on that day. Turnout was not a problem for Democrats on Thursday, and Cuomo said he expects the same kind of historically strong turnout to carry over to the general election, because of opposition to President Donald Trump.