Although the election is not until next year, there is already real talk about Gov. Andrew Cuomo possibly facing a Democratic primary challenge. Some of the names that have been mentioned include actress Cynthia Nixon, who has not ruled it out. State House Reporter Zack Fink takes a look at a campaign that's already starting to percolate.
While there are rumors Gov. Cuomo has his eye on running for president in 2020, he must first get through his re-election as governor next year.
And while there will be a Republican challenger, there has been chatter about an opponent in the Democratic primary.
"If he gets a very serious challenge from his left, and that proves to be popular with the Democratic electorate, then that is something else to weigh against the likelihood of a 2020 run, or at least a successful run in that season," said David Birdsell of Baruch College.
Possible primary challengers include Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner and former Democratic State Sen. Terry Gipson, who's from the Hudson Valley.
But the name that has the political world buzzing is actress Cynthia Nixon.
The "Sex and the City" star wouldn't rule it out during an interview this week on NBC's "Today" show.
"I think there are a lot of people who would like me to run, and I think for a variety of reasons, but I think the number one is education," Nixon said in the interview.
Nixon is close to Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has an ongoing feud with Cuomo. Nixon's wife works for the mayor, and de Blasio tweeted a photo Wednesday that shows he and his wife, First Lady Chirlane McCray, at an event with Nixon.
The mayor was asked in a TV interview about Nixon running, and he tried to avoid weighing in on the race while praising her.
"She has to decide what she wants to do," de Blasio said. "I'm only saying I think she is a great person. I think she's a great New Yorker who's done a lot for this city."
"As we know, one of the big hurdles for any challenger is name recognition," Birdsell said. "She comes out of the gate with that recognition, so she doesn't have to spend that money."
An unknown challenger, activist Zephyr Teachout, ran against Cuomo in 2014 and garnered nearly 34 percent of the Democratic vote.
What likely troubles Cuomo is that Teachout mounted her challenge without a lot of money. So the concern is not necessarily that a primary opponent would come along and compete with Cuomo's nearly $26 million campaign war chest. But this time around, in the era of Trump, the left wing of the party is arguably even more fired up than they were in 2014 — and that could spell trouble for Cuomo.