ALBANY - Gov. Andrew Cuomo accepted the Working Families Party's nomination on Friday, a move that gives Cuomo a fourth ballot line in November and clears Democratic primary opponent Cynthia Nixon from the race.
The Working Families Party, a minor party that pushes progressive ideals, had backed Nixon earlier this year when the Sex and the City star was challenging Cuomo for the Democratic nod.
But Cuomo easily defeated Nixon in New York's September primary, leaving the Working Families Party leaders to decide between sticking with Nixon in the fall or handing their ballot to Cuomo, with whom they have frequently clashed.
On Wednesday, the party committee chose the latter option, offering the line to Cuomo and his running mate, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul.
Cuomo accepted on Friday.
“The governor has accepted the Working Families Party ballot line," Cuomo campaign spokeswoman Dani Lever said in a statement. "The governor's priority is a unified Democratic Party focused on taking back the House and the state Senate."
The Working Families Party cleared its ballot by nominating Nixon for an Assembly race in Manhattan.
Nixon has said she does not intend to actively campaign for the seat.
Had she stayed in the governor's race, Nixon could have drawn votes from the major-party candidates, raising concerns the Working Families Party could play spoiler by pulling votes from Cuomo.
A Siena College poll Monday showed Nixon received support from 10 percent of voters.
Cuomo will square off in the general election with Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, who has the Republican line and two minor-party lines, and three others: Stephanie Miner of the Serve America
Movement Party, Larry Sharpe of the Libertarian Party and Howie Hawkins of the Green Party.
Under New York's fusion voting laws, candidates are allowed to carry multiple ballot lines in the general election. All votes for a candidate are then added together, regardless of what line they are placed.
A minor party's candidate for governor must receive 50,000 votes for that party to have an automatic spot on New York's ballots for the next four years.
Bill Lipton, the party's New York director, acknowledged the party's disputes with Cuomo over the years.
"Despite our differences in the primary, the Working Families Party and Governor Cuomo agree that the top priority is to end Republican control in the New York State Senate and in Congress," he said in a statement Friday. "Nothing could be more important."