To the editor:
As the dust settles from left-wing insurgent Cynthia Nixon’s much-anticipated rally in downtown Ithaca on September 1, many local progressives appear confident that the long-shot Cuomo challenger can pull off a surprise win in the looming gubernatorial primary. Think Ocasio-Cortez’s dramatic June victory against powerful Democratic centrist Joe Crowley in New York’s 14th congressional district, but on a much larger scale. Nixon’s unprecedented pledge to convert the Cayuga Power Plant into a renewable energy facility drew particular praise among the local left, distinguishing herself as the lone gubernatorial candidate who harbors bold progressive visions for oft-forgotten upstate communities. That being said, Cuomo retains strong polling numbers and an iron-lock grip on state politics. Given the strong likelihood he’ll sail into a third-term with relatively limited bruising, it would be wise for progressives to leverage Nixon’s growing appeal to demand policy concessions from the sitting governor — both until and after the primary vote results are announced on September 13.