HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (AP) — Democrats can win elections and stand up to Washington Republicans by sticking to their core principles when it comes to education, health care, equality and the environment, Hillary Clinton told a friendly crowd at the New York state Democratic convention on Wednesday.
The remarks from the 2016 Democratic nominee for president came as Democrats look to make big gains across the country in the fall elections.
Clinton said Democrats in New York and across the nation are showing how to advance progressive priorities while also confronting Republican President Donald Trump, who defeated Clinton to win the White House. She dismissed criticism that her party has no "bold ideas."
"I don't know about you, but I think it's a bold idea that everyone in this country should have a decent standard of living," she said.
While some liberal Democrats question Clinton's progressive credentials, the former U.S. senator and secretary of state received a warm welcome in her home state, with cheers and applause greeting her as she took the stage.
Clinton praised Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whose bid for a third term she has endorsed, and did not mention his from-the-left challenger, "Sex and the City" star and liberal activist Cynthia Nixon.
Cuomo easily won his party's nomination Wednesday, claiming more than 95 percent of the votes cast by delegates. Nixon received only a smattering of votes — and a few boos — in the nomination process. It wasn't a surprise: Cuomo is the de facto leader of the party and the convention is run by his allies.
"We really do have the anti-Washington agenda," Cuomo told reporters following his nomination. "This was really an overwhelming show of support, frankly more than I expected."
Nixon was not invited to speak at the convention but attended anyway. Asked about Clinton's support for Cuomo, she said voters won't make their decisions based on endorsements. Nixon can still appear on the September Democratic primary ticket by collecting voter signatures; she will already appear on the November ballot as the nominee of the left-leaning Working Families Party.
"Andrew Cuomo can get all the endorsements he wants," she said. "I think at the end of the day, voters vote on peoples' records, not on surrogates."
Nixon has faulted Cuomo for not doing enough to address education inequalities, corruption or the lack of funding for New York City's subways. Cuomo points to his successful push for gun control laws, same-sex marriage and a $15 minimum wage.
The party nominated New York City Public Advocate Letitia James for attorney general. James, who had key endorsements from Cuomo and Democratic Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie of the Bronx, beat Buffalo attorney Leecia Eve and Zephyr Teachout, a law professor and liberal activist. But they and others can still mount petition drives to get on the primary ballot for September.
Former Vice President Joe Biden is scheduled to address the convention on Thursday.
Republicans are holding their convention in Manhattan, where they nominated Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro as their candidate for governor on Wednesday. New York City attorneys Manny Alicandro and Keith Wofford are seeking the Republican nomination for attorney general.
Trump was scheduled to be on Long Island Wednesday to speak to local law enforcement officials about gang violence.