At Tuesday's Legislative Correspondents Association dinner in Albany, N.Y., out gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon gave the comedic rebuttal to the dinner, essentially a roast, which she used to skewer her primary opponent, Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Koch blamed the slogan “Vote for Cuomo, Not the Homo,” on Mario Cuomo’s campaign. Andrew Cuomo worked on his father's campaign at the time.
For his part, Koch, who died a bachelor in 2103, dodged rumors about his sexuality throughout his political career. “Whether I am straight or gay or bisexual is nobody’s business but mine," he wrote in his 1992 autobiography.
During her roast of the younger Cuomo, Nixon played up her bisexuality while hearkening to that darkly homophobic flyer.
“Andrew Cuomo is known for dirty politics but I have to give credit where it’s due. His history of cutthroat campaigns helped inspire my campaign’s new slogan,” she said. “Vote for the homo, not for the Cuomo.”
It’s not the first time Nixon has commented on her sexual identity since announcing her run for governor of New York.
She wittily fired back at New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn who, following the Emmy- and Tony-winning actress's announcement that she was running for governor, slammed Nixon for actively campaigning against her when Quinn ran for mayor of New York City in 2013. At the time of her mayoral run, Quinn had been the first out person to serve as speaker of the New York City Council, serving two terms in the position.
"Cynthia Nixon was opposed to having a qualified lesbian become mayor of New York City," Quinn said, "Now she wants to be an unqualified lesbian to be the governor of New York. Being an actress and celebrity doesn’t make you qualified for public office."
Nixon addressed Quinn’s slam during her campaign launch at the historic Stonewall Inn in late March.
"When I announced yesterday that I'm running for governor, one of Cuomo's top surrogates dismissed me as an unqualified lesbian," Nixon said. "I just want to say tonight that she was technically right, that I don't have my certificate from the department of lesbian affairs — but in my defense, there is a lot of paperwork involved.”
But Nixon wasn't finished capitalizing on Quinn's remark. Within days of formally announcing her campaign, she tweeted out a link to purchase "Unqualified Lesbian" merchandise.
Nixon's roast of Cuomo also included a dig at Quinn's remark.
"His performance as a progressive hasn't been very convincing of late — you might say he is an unqualified thespian," Nixon joked.
Watch Nixon's full rebuttal below.