Village Democratic district leader Arthur Schwartz may be touting the candidacy of Cynthia Nixon for Assembly over longtime incumbent Deborah Glick — even though Nixon’s campaign has been saying she is supporting Glick. But last week, the one-time gubernatorial hopeful, in an exclusive statement to Schneps Community News Groups, pointedly urged voters not to vote for her.
“I’m aware that my appearance on the ballot has become a story,” Nixon said. “I would like to clarify the situation. There may be those who want to use my presence on the ballot to confuse or mislead voters. I want to be clear: Please do NOT vote for me, vote for Deborah Glick. Her consistent work on progressive issues is needed in Albany.”
Though Nixon lost to Andrew Cuomo in September, she had already secured the Working Families Party line for the general election. Not wanting to draw votes away from Democrat Cuomo, Nixon and the WFP had a fallback plan: she would switch to the 66th Assembly District WFP ballot line. Cuomo has now accepted the Working Families line for governor. Short of moving out of state, that was the only way Nixon could get off the gubernatorial line.
The State Legislature’s first out lesbian or gay member, Glick has represented the Village-based district for 28 years. Commenting on Nixon’s statement, she said, “As we get close to the election, this is when people will pay attention, and I’m very grateful that she has made that position clear. I’m glad that she has been so clear and forceful in her support for me.”
As for Schwartz’s “campaign” for Nixon, Glick said, “I don’t understand Arthur’s obsession with me. I am not now or in the future going to engage with Arthur.”
Even though Nixon is saying don’t vote for her, Schwartz said it might not matter. “That doesn’t mean people won’t vote for Cynthia,” he said, adding, “and it’s a way of expressing displeasure with Deborah. We’ll see what happens.”
Regarding his campaign methods, Schwartz said, “I will tell people to vote for Cynthia. How I’m going to do that beyond email, I don’t know yet.” He previously said he has an email database of names of 10,000 “prime voters” from a short-lived run against Glick in the Democratic primary two years ago, Asked if he would send a mailer, Schwartz said, “And pay $5,000? Too expensive.”
A group that is putting resources into the race — for Glick — is the WFP. Bill Lipton, the group’s state director, said the party will do ro-bocalls and a press conference to make clear she is the WFP’s “endorsed candidate,” even if not on its ballot line.