Nixon added: 'I have never, nor could, donate to anyone's political campaign.
"The basic dynamic of the race didn't change", says Hofstra political analyst Larry Levy. You're there in case of fires and floods and emergencies. and today you've got to deal with Donald Trump.
Cuomo, who is seeking a third term and has a large lead in public-opinion polls, fired back by pointing to the responsibilities of the governor, including management of a $168 billion budget and responding to natural disasters and crises.
Observers had predicted that Nixon would attempt to rattle the governor in the hopes that he would misspeak.
Nixon accused Cuomo of lying multiple times and routinely interrupted the governor during the debate.
Cuomo painted Nixon, who won an Emmy for her portrayal of lawyer Miranda Hobbes on the HBO show "Sex and the City", as inexperienced and naive about the practicalities of NY politics.
"The most aggressive state program in the United States of America", said Cuomo. 'Either corruption or incompetence, which is it?' When Nixon dinged the governor for accepting donations from the billionaire Republican mega-donor Koch brothers, Cuomo returned to Nixon's taxes: "She's upset with the Koch brothers because they're the only ones who take more tax cuts than she does". She couldn't just "snap her fingers" and enact policies like ethics reform, he said. There was also discussion over the name of the name of the former Tappan Zee Bridge, now the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, and how they would make sure children will not use marijuana if it gets legalized for recreational use.
'Ideally Nixon would have wanted this debate to happen three months ago, ' he said.
Nixon campaign senior advisor Rebecca Katz told WCBS-TV that because work environments are "notoriously sexist when it comes to temperature", they "just want to make sure we're all on the same page here".
Hofstra University political scientist Craig Burnett said he didn't see a clear victor in the debate, and that both candidates can claim some accomplishments.
'Yes, yes, yes and yes, ' he said in response.
Pool via Getty Images Gov. Andrew Cuomo takes notes during his debate with Democratic rival Cynthia Nixon at Hofstra University on Wednesday.
Neither candidate said yes.
The Democratic primary victor will face Republican Marc Molinaro and independent Stephanie Miner in November. Asked about making it easier for workers to strike, Nixon said that she meant to empower people who simply wanted fair wages and saw no other resort.
The two expressed the need to fix New York City's subway system which has been plagued with delays.