SPOTLIGHT

It’s Not All an Act

If she runs for New York governor, Cynthia Nixon would join a lengthy list of actors-turned-politicians.

Actress Cynthia Nixon poses for the photographers during a photo call for the film 'A Quiet Passion' at the 2016 Berlinale Film Festival in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, Feb. 14, 2016.
AP Photo/Michael Sohn
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Kyle Trygstad
March 8, 2018, 9:30 a.m.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo downplayed on Wednesday actress Cynthia Nixon’s celebrity and viability should she launch a Democratic primary challenge.

Nixon would undoubtedly be a heavy underdog in the September contest. But it would come four years after Zephyr Teachout held Cuomo to 63 percent, and just two years after Donald Trump proved a nonpolitician with the right profile and message can upset a prominent political figure—and one from New York, in fact.

If she runs, the Sex and the City star would join a lengthy list of actors who launched political careers. It’s headlined by President Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger, who were both elected California governor.

The Senate has featured Fred Thompson (R-TN), Al Franken (D-MN), and George Murphy (R-CA). And in the House, there has been Fred Grandy (R-IA) of The Love Boat, Ben Jones (D-GA) of The Dukes of Hazzard, Sonny Bono (R-CA), Robert Dornan (R-CA), and John Davis Lodge (R-CT), who was also elected Connecticut governor.

Among other recent actors-turned-politicians, Gary Kroeger of Saturday Night Live and Melissa Gilbert of Little House on the Prairie both ended their 2016 congressional bids early, while Clueless star Stacey Dash hopes for a better outcome in her long-shot Republican bid for a South L.A. district.

Kyle Trygstad

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