From Sex and the City to political office, actress, Cynthia Nixon is hoping to add a new title in front of her name – governor of New York.
Nixon, who is known for her role as Miranda Hobbes in SATC, announced her run for office yesterday with a video about her life spent in New York City and a few changes she hopes to make as governor. After her social media announcement went live, the internet went crazy with Miranda memes and predictions about how Nixon’s administration would look for the state of New York.
Although some people were shocked by Nixon’s bid for public office, this is not her first round at declaring her advocacy for the citizens of New York. She is a longtime spokesperson of public education, women’s health rights and LGBTQ rights and has spoken at numerous rallies and events for human rights. Her accolades – one of which is Yale University’s 2013 Artist for Equality award – speak for themselves, but some people are having a hard time looking beyond her SATC alter ego. But it is not just the actor-to-politician switch that has people questioning her run – it is that she is a she.
Men in entertainment have made the switch from actor to politician with considerable ease – *ahem, #45. Not only did the current president transition from The Apprentice to the Oval Office, but so did several politicians prior. Ronald Reagan was an actor with over 50 films under his belt before he ran for California governor in 1965; and later became the 40th U.S. president. Similarly, Arnold Schwarzenegger was a bodybuilder and actor before announcing his bid for the governor’s seat on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in 2003. All three men were successful transitioning into public office. Women: not so fortunate.
Nixon is definitely not the first Hollywood starlet to declare interest in the government. Only a handful of actresses have run for congress or senate, but none for governor. From Little House on the Prairie actress, Melissa Gilbert who ran for Michigan’s 8th Congressional District in 2016 to child star, Shirley Temple who ran for Congress in the Republican primary for the state’s 11th district. Gilbert dropped out due to health issues and Temple lost the race.
Male entertainers who declare their interest in public officer are often questioned, but eventually admired for their risk-taking and fresh perspective. The Rock has joked several times that he plans to run for office, but his comments have been taken seriously and even encouraged. But for actresses, their interest and political announcements are immediately dismissed. This story is similar across the board for female entertainers, but a win for Nixon is a win for multiple groups of people.
If elected, Nixon would become the first female governor, and the first openly gay governor, in New York history.
As a candidate for the Democratic party primary election, Nixon will face off against current New York governor, Andrew Cuomo. New York’s gubernatorial election is on November 6, 2018.