Former "Sex and the City" star Cynthia Nixon announced Monday she's throwing her hat in the ring for New York governor, taking on the powerful Democrat Andrew Cuomo.
It sets up an intriguing September Democratic primary race pitting an actor and liberal activist against a two-term incumbent with a $30 million war chest and possible presidential ambitions.
"We want our government to work again. On health care, ending massive incarceration, fixing our broken subway," Nixon said in a video announcing her candidacy. "We are sick of politicians who care more about headlines and power than they do about us."
Nixon had hinted at a run for months.
Her campaign website said Nixon would not accept any corporate contributions and would limit contributions from any individual or organization to $65,100 for the election cycle.
A Siena College poll released Monday showed Cuomo leading her by 66 percent to 19 percent among registered Democrats, and by a similar margin among self-identified liberals. Nixon did a little better among younger and upstate Democrats, but didn't have more than a quarter of either group.
The poll of 772 registered voters was conducted March 11-16. The margin of error is plus-minus 4 percentage points.
Nixon has in recent months given speeches and interviews calling on Democrats nationally to run "bluer" in 2018 and carve out a strong, progressive liberal identity rather than being merely "the anti-Trump party."
"It could be a fight for the soul of the Democratic Party in some sense," Baruch College political scientist Douglas Muzzio told The Associated Press.
Nixon, a 51-year-old Manhattan mother of three, is a longtime advocate for fairness in public school funding and fervent supporter of Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has frequently clashed with Cuomo on a range of issues. Her video showed her with her young son Max as she talks about being a proud public school parent.
A Cuomo campaign spokesman said the 60-year-old governor "has delivered more real progressive wins than any other Democrat in the country," including legalizing gay marriage, tightening gun restrictions, raising the minimum wage, expanding public education funding and banning fracking.
Cuomo recently mocked the celebrity status the Grammy, Emmy and Tony winner could bring to the race.
"Normally name recognition is relevant when it has some connection to the endeavor," he told reporters earlier this month. "If it was just about name recognition, then I'm hoping that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and Billy Joel don't get into the race."
While Nixon has strong political connections and name recognition in the city that was the backdrop for her Emmy Award-winning role as lawyer Miranda Hobbes in the HBO comedy "Sex and the City," her star power among upstate voters is less certain.
"Over and over in our research, Democratic primary voters say they're not looking for an outsider because they look to Washington, D.C., and see what the outsider has meant to this country," Jefrey Pollock, pollster and political adviser to Cuomo and other prominent Democrats, reacted.
Nixon won't be the only celebrity candidate on the New York ballot. Former "Law and Order: SVU" actress Diane Neal is running for Congress as an independent in a Hudson Valley district.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.