Cuomo overwhelmingly beats Cynthia Nixon at Democratic convention

ALBANY — Gov. Cuomo, facing a tough primary challenge on the left from actress Cynthia Nixon, on Wednesday easily snared his party’s nomination for a third term at the state Democratic convention.

With Cuomo winning more than 95% of the vote, Nixon failed to get anywhere near the 25% she needed to guarantee her a spot on the primary ballot. She said she will seek to gather thousands of petition signatures across the state to get on the ballot.

Cuomo’s nomination was seconded by his mother, former state First Lady Matilda Cuomo, as well as three students — one a survivor of the Feb. 14 school shooting in Parkland, Fla. — who all were touched by gun violence and who praised Cuomo’s enactment of tough gun laws. A short chant of “Four more years,” followed.

RELATED: Cynthia Nixon out and about

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Cynthia Nixon out and about
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Cynthia Nixon out and about
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 29: Cynthia Nixon attends the portrait unveilings of Laura Linney and Cynthia Nixon starring on Broadway in the Manhattan Theatre Club's THE LITTLE FOXES, at Sardi's on June 29, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Walter McBride/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Actress Cynthia Nixon attends the 71st Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Cynthia Nixon (L) attends the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 4: Cynthia Nixon attends 2017 Drama Desk Awards - Arrivals at Anita's Way on June 4, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Paul Bruinooge/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 22: Cynthia Nixon on stage at the 2017 The Lilly Awards at Playwrights Horizons on May 22, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Walter McBride/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 25: Cynthia Nixon attends the Outer Critics Circle 2016-2017 Awards at Sardi's on May 25, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 25: Best Actress in a Play Winner for 'The Little Foxes' Laura Linney and Best Featured Actress in a Play Winner for 'The Little Foxes' Cynthia Nixon pose at the 2017 Outer Critics Circle Awards Presentation at Sardi's on May 25, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 22: Cynthia Nixon attends the 2017 Lilly Awards at Playwrights Horizons on May 22, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Walter McBride/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 19: Laura Linney and Cynthia Nixon attend the 83rd Annual Drama League Awards Ceremony at Marriott Marquis Times Square on May 19, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Walter McBride/WireImage)
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE WITH ANDY COHEN -- Pictured: Cynthia Nixon -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 03: Cynthia Nixon and Laura Linney attend the 2017 Tony Awards Meet The Nominees Press Junket at the Sofitel Hotel on May 3, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Walter McBride/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 10: Actor Cynthia Nixon attends 2017 Drama Desk Nominees reception at Marriott Marquis Times Square on May 10, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 21: Actress Cynthia Nixon visits the SiriusXM Studios on April 21, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 19: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Christine Marinoni and wife Cynthia Nixon pose at the opening night after party for Manhattan Theatre Clubs production of 'The Little Foxes' on Broadway at The Copacabana on April 19, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 19: Cynthia Nixon and Laura Linney during the Broadway Opening Night Curtain Call bows for 'The Little Foxes' at Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on April 19, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Walter McBride/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 08: Cynthia Nixon attends the 2017 Afghan Hands fundraiser at Gabriel & Co Showroom on March 8, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew Toth/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 28: Cynthia Nixon attends the cast photo call for the Manhattan Theatre Club's New Broadway Production of 'The Little Foxes' at the MTC Rehearsal studios on February 27, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Walter McBride/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 17: (L-R) Cynthia Nixon, Mario Cantone and Claudia Shear pose at the Opening Night Party for The New Group production of 'Evening at The Talk House' at Green Fig Urban Eatery at Yotel on February 16, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - JANUARY19: American actress Cynthia Nixon gives a speech as people gather in front of Trump International Hotel & Tower in New York, USA on January 19, 2017 during a demonstration to protest US President-elect, Republican, Donald Trump ahead of his inauguration which will be held in Washington. Mayor of New York Bill de Blasio,Mayor of Minneapolis Betsy Hodges participate the protest as well as celebrities including Robert De Niro, Marisa Tomei, Sally Field, Alec Baldwin, Mark Ruffalo, Cynthia Nixon, Michael Moore, Cher, Natalie Merchant . (Photo by Selcuk Acar/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
SANTA MONICA, CA - DECEMBER 11: Cynthia Nixon arrives at the The 22nd Annual Critics' Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on December 11, 2016 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 20: Actress Cynthia Nixon attends the 'Sweet Charity' Opening Night Afterparty at The Lindeman on November 20, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by J. Countess/Getty Images)
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Nixon’s nomination was seconded by her old high school teacher, Janice Warner, who praised her as a “true progressive, a true Democrat,” and said, “if you only know Cynthia Nixon as a celebrity, you don’t know Cynthia.”

Nixon showed at the convention even though she said she knew she would not get the 25% of the vote needed to get on the ballot. She did not stick around for the tally.

“I’m here because I think it’s important that at a Democratic convention there be at least one Democrat running for governor,” she said, accusing Cuomo of governing like a Republican.

“I’m not a protest candidate. I’m a viable candidate who is really running hard for the Democratic nomination, and that’s why I’m here, to say this is my party, too, I’m not afraid and I’m here. You can’t shut me out.”

Cuomo did not attend to watch his name be placed into nomination. He is set to give an acceptance speech on Thursday, where he will be introduced by former Vice President Joe Biden.

Before Cuomo and Nixon’s names were entered into nomination, the convention opened like a coronation for the two-term incumbent, with Cuomo allies praising his record and painting him as a progressive who does more than talk.

Two ministers who gave the convention’s opening prayer spent more time talking up Cuomo than they did God.

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, Cuomo’s handpicked chairman of the state Democratic Party, called New York “the progressive capital of the nation.”

Brown and other speakers cited Cuomo’s successful push to legalize gay marriage, pass tough gun control laws, enact a $15-an-hour minimum wage and establish the state’s first paid family-leave program.

Brown then took a veiled shot at Nixon, saying, “This is not Democratic rhetoric. It is a new Democratic reality.”

Nixon dismissed Cuomo’s dominance at the convention. She and her team believe progressives who will turn out to vote in the primary don’t trust the governor.

“I think that Andrew Cuomo can get all the endorsements that he wants,” Nixon said before the vote. “The fact of the matter is people are going to be voting on his record, which is not very progressive, which is why he’s so anxious to shore up all this money and all these endorsements.”

Cuomo was nominated by Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union.

But it was Cuomo’s mom and the three students who stole the moment.

Matilda Cuomo frequently invoked her late husband, former three-term Gov. Mario Cuomo, who remains a darling of the left.

“I feel in many ways Mario still lives through Andrew’s work, and I know he is looking down on us right now, smiling,” the proud mother said.

The three students who spoke on behalf of Cuomo were Aalayah Eastmond, a junior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., Christopher Underwood, a sixth-grader at Eagle Academy Ocean Hill in Brooklyn, and Avalon Fenster, a sophomore at Stony Brook School and director of diversity at Next Generation Politics.

Eastmond recalled how she was in a room where two others died during the Feb. 14 Parkland massacre.

“We stand here on behalf of gun safety activists to second the nomination of Andrew Cuomo for governor of New York State,” the students said in unison.

Nixon was nominated by Zakiyah Ansar, the advocacy director of the Alliance For Quality Education, who praised her education activism while ripping Cuomo’s education record.

Seconding her nomination was City Councilman Carlos Menchaca.

Later in the day, the convention was expected to nominate Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul over primary challenger and City Councilman Jumaane Williams, who also is expected to have to go the petition route.

The delegates also were set to deal with the sudden opening for attorney general after two-term AG Eric Schneiderman recently resigned in disgrace following a New Yorker magazine article alleging he physically assaulted four women.

City Public Advocate Letitia James is considered the heavy favorite to get the convention nod over former Cuomo and Hillary Clinton aide Leecia Eve and Fordham Law School Prof. Zephyr Teachout.

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