Cuomo and Nixon spar in debate

Cynthia Nixon slams Gov. Cuomo’s preferred room temperature for their debate as ‘notoriously sexist

The crowd was animated and responsive as the opponents interrupted each other during particularly passionate moments of the debate. While she has a history of advocating on behalf of progressive issues, the governor has enacted real change, he said.

"Can you stop interrupting?"

It's telling that the debate-the only time Cuomo and Nixon will meet face to face before next month's primary-is airing on a tape delay, because while unpredictability is good for TV, it's not always good when you're a politician.

"Yeah, as soon as you do", Cuomo responded as laughter erupted from the audience.

The two expressed the need to fix New York City's subway system which has been plagued with delays.

Neither Cuomo nor Nixon spoke to reporters after the debate.

Mr Cuomo, who has been mentioned as a possible presidential candidate in 2020, said that if he is re-elected governor he will serve out his term.

"The governor of NY is not a job about politics, it's not about activism", he said.

He said he had experience to boast and Ms Nixon did not.

"You stood up to him about as well as he stands up to Putin", she said, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Cuomo told Nixon. "Can you stop interrupting?"

"The MTA has been controlled by the state since 1965", Nixon snapped back.

Cuomo laid out a series of reforms he said the state should adopt to deal with Albany corruption.

The biggest question heading in, given his considerable apparent lead, is whether Cuomo can sit tight - the pair will both be seated for the duration - and steer clear of any comment or confrontation that might throw him off course.

"What I would say is that we're not talking about children smoking marijuana", she said.

Cuomo swiftly went on the offense, attacking Nixon for filing taxes as a corporation rather than as an individual, a common practice for entertainers.

"No one has stood up to Donald Trump the way I have", he said. He returned to the attack several times, while Nixon explained that she would be a more reliable progressive, and would try to turn NY into a model for that kind of governance instead of one where moderate Democrats cut deals with Republicans. "Andrew Cuomo came in here as the front-runner, and he left here as the front-runner".

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