More than a month after announcing her candidacy for governor, Democrat Cynthia Nixon made her first campaign trip to Buffalo. The actress-turned-politician did not directly answer why she waited so long to visit New York’s second-biggest city.

“I am really glad to be in Buffalo and I will be back again and again and again,” Nixon said. “We have started to go around the state to other places. This is my first trip as a candidate to Buffalo but it’s certainly not my first trip to Buffalo when I’ve been fighting for better schools.”

Nixon did acknowledge some of her opponents are calling her a New York City candidate who does not care or know much about Upstate cities. While she argued it is a false narrative, she also pointed out her platforms, particularly when it comes to poverty, are as relevant to Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse as they are to NYC.

“The things that I want to do as governor are things that everybody in every part of the state wants, also regardless of their political party,” she said.

Nixon spoke to community activists and grassroots leaders about economic development policies at the 9th Ward, a small bar near downtown. Nixon said she was thankful for the opportunity but the venue was her third choice.

The campaign originally scheduled the roundtable, which was closed to the media, at the Pucho Olivencia Community Center.

“We were supposed to be at a particular community center and it seems like the governor really didn’t want us meeting there today so we got bumped out,” she said. “Despite the fact that we were paying market rate for the space, the community center didn’t feel like they could risk it. So we moved to another community center and we got kicked out of that one too.”

Governor Cuomo’s campaign called the accusation “not even remotely true” and suggested, perhaps, Nixon doesn’t have the community support she believes she does.

“First we’ve heard of it, but not the first Nixon to be paranoid!” Lis Smith, a member of the campaign’s rapid response team, tweeted.

We reached out to the Olivencia Center about why Nixon was not allowed to host her event there, but have not yet received a response.

Meanwhile, the candidate did have an open media availability after the roundtable where she answered question for about 13 minutes on a variety of topics:

  • On Simcha Felder’s decision to continuing to conference with state Senate Republicans this session: “The situation that Governor Cuomo has created for the last seven-and-a-half years, making it really very comfortable and very cozy and being rewarded, actually, for Democrats going over and voting with Republicans, he has created this climate,” she said.
  • On Governor Cuomo’s proposal to ban plastic bags in New York state: “I’m really excited about that. I think that’s great,” she said sarcastically. “I think that’s a really heartfelt decision on his part when last year in New York City, we had fought for four years to put a fee on it and he came in proactively and killed it.”
  • On the suggestion her presence in the primary is moving the governor’s policies to the left: “It’s not a time of centrism. If you’re a Republican, you be a Republican but I’m a Democrat and I’m going to be a Democrat and that’s one thing that I am encouraged to see our governor start to inch leftward. He’s still got a long way to go.”