Democratic candidate for governor Cynthia Nixon traveled to Hoosick Falls Wednesday, a small village near the Vermont border that has grappled with the impacts of water contamination residents say the state did not act on fast enough.
"Going forward, we must never let this happen again," Nixon said. "It shouldn't have happened in Flint, Michigan; it shouldn't have happened here."
While there to listen to residents and their concerns with village's water, she was also there to pick up the endorsement of former EPA regional administrator Judith Enck, who was critical of Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration and its response to Hoosick Falls.
"She's honest," said Enck of Nixon. "You don't have to worry about her staff being indicted felons, which I think is a really good thing in government."
Nixon, meanwhile, panned Cuomo's effort to unite Democrats in the state Senate, a move announced Wednesday by the governor aimed at giving the party a working majority by the end of this month.
"The IDC, very like the subway, when there's glory to be gotten, the governor is first in line," Nixon said. "When there's blame, he can't be found. He must have gone upstairs to lie down."
Nixon has criticized Cuomo for what she said is allowing Republicans, bolstered by the Independent Democratic Conference, to remain in power, leading to a block on liberal priorities like early voting and more money for high-needs schools. She says her candidacy may have played a role in spurring Cuomo to action.
"I think it is a factor," she said. "He did this four years ago when he was challenged by Zephyr Teachout as well."
Nixon, meanwhile, says she is willing to debate Governor Cuomo, though no formal request has been made.
Nixon is competing for a Democratic nomination against Cuomo, who is seeking a third term this year and has $30 million in cash on hand. She wouldn't say whether the state party apparatus, controlled by Cuomo, is lined up against her.
"A two-term incumbent governor, son of Mario Cuomo, does he have something of a lock on the Democratic establishment in this state? Yes, I think he has an advantage," Nixon said.
The state convention will be held in May.