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Capitol Watch: Nixon backs Cuomo, sort of

November 3, 2018

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — In New York state political news, Andrew Cuomo and his challengers are closing out their campaigns as voters prepare to cast their ballots on Election Day.

In the race’s final days Cuomo picked up the endorsement of his former rival Cynthia Nixon in his bid for a third term. His Republican challenger Marc Molinaro, meanwhile, interrupted his own campaign schedule to help a man suffering from an apparent stroke.

Meanwhile, supporters of a bill to authorize physician-assisted suicide in New York commemorate those who died from terminal illness while pushing for the law.

Here’s a look at stories making news:

NIXON BACKS CUOMO: The former “Sex and the City” star released a statement and video in the race’s final days urging voters to cast ballots for the Working Families Party “from top to bottom.”

Since Cuomo is technically at the top of the liberal third-party’s ballot as its nominee for governor, Nixon was effectively throwing her support behind her former foe — even though she didn’t mention him by name.

“On Tuesday, we must use our voice once again by voting to take back Congress from Trump and the Republicans and to elect a progressive Democratic majority in New York’s state Senate,” Nixon said in the message to supporters. “We must also use our voice to keep economic and racial justice front and center - and we can do that by voting Tuesday on the Working Families Party ballot line.”

Nixon lost to Cuomo in September’s Democratic primary. The Working Families Party was a key Nixon supporter — and an aggressive critic of the governor’s — but it nevertheless reversed itself to endorse Cuomo after he defeated Nixon.

MOLINARO HELPS MAN: The Dutchess County executive and GOP nominee for governor was near his campaign office in Poughkeepsie last week when he saw a man on the sidewalk in medical distress.

Molinaro and another passer-by attempted to intervene when they spotted the semi-conscious man choking on his own vomit. Authorities were called and Molinaro stepped in to direct traffic as emergency personnel sought to treat the man, who authorities later said was apparently suffering a stroke.

When asked how he knew how to direct traffic, Molinaro cited his 15 years working as a volunteer firefighter.

“I’m just glad I was there to help,” he later told reporters.

“DAY OF THE DEAD”: Supporters of legislation that would allow New Yorkers to request life-ending medication from a doctor are honoring those who died advocating for the measure.

The event, held Thursday on the traditional Latino celebration of the Day of the Dead, featured a procession at the Clemente Soto Velez Center in New York City and an altar decorated with photos of deceased supporters.

“This year several strong advocates, gravely ill, generously devoted precious energy and time to authorization of medical aid in dying in New York,” said Barbara Coombs Lee, president of Compassion & Choices. “They passed on before realizing the dream of dignity and autonomy at life’s end.”

Under the proposal, which is based on a 21-year-old law in Oregon, a person with a terminal illness and a life expectancy of six months or less could obtain life-ending medication if at least two doctors agree with their prognosis and determine they are of sound mind. In addition to Oregon, Colorado, Washington, Vermont, California, Montana, Hawaii and Washington D.C. also allow people to seek a doctor’s help in ending their life.

Opponents, including the Roman Catholic Church, argue a physician-assisted suicide law could be exploited, either by depressed individuals or by uncaring relatives, doctors or insurance companies who urge elderly or disabled people to end their lives.

The legislation will be back before lawmakers when they return to Albany in January.

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