Sanders makes no endorsement in Nixon-Cuomo race

Sanders makes no endorsement in Nixon-Cuomo race

Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate Ben & Jerry’s co-founders announce effort to help 7 Dem House challengers Dems look to Gillum, Abrams for pathway to victory in tough states MORE (I-Vt.) declined to endorse Cynthia Nixon, who is mounting a liberal primary challenge against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D).

Sanders in a statement released on Monday did endorse Nixon's running mate, lieutenant governor candidate Jumaane Williams, as well as attorney general candidate Zephyr Teachout.

Both are progressive candidates running in the mold of Nixon, who polls suggest will lose to Cuomo in Thursday's primary.

But Sanders stopped short of endorsing Nixon.

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Sanders didn't mention Nixon in his release, which described Williams and Teachout as "leaders of the progressive movement in New York."

It referred to Williams as a "leading advocate for affordable housing" and touted Teachout's "work to reform our campaign finance system." 

"The progressive movement today is transforming American politics from coast to coast," Sanders said in the statement. "This Thursday, New York State voters can take us a major step forward by supporting all those candidates whom are prepared to transform the Democratic Party and fight for economic, social, racial and environmental justice." 

Williams and Nixon have endorsed one another, and Nixon has offered a glowing endorsement for Teachout. 

Nixon has sought to align herself with Sanders-backed candidates including New York congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The activist and former television star's campaign has revolved around progressive policies including single-payer health care, reducing wealth inequality and affordable housing.  

Teachout and Williams both announced their Sanders endorsements on Twitter.

"Huge huge YUGE news!!!!" Teachout tweeted. "Bernie Sanders just endorsed our campaign for Attorney General and [Williams] for Lieutenant Governor!!!"

"I was proud to support [Sanders] when he started a rising progressive tide in 2016," Williams wrote. "That tide is now a #BlueWave, & I'm honored to receive his endorsement as we ride that wave to defeat an establishment afraid of the real change we can create."  

Williams is running against incumbent Kathy Hochul (D), while Teachout is in a four-way Democratic primary for the attorney general nomination.