US political novice Cynthia Nixon, known for her role in the TV series "Sex and the City", has squared off against New York governor Andrew Cuomo in a feisty televised debate.

The debate came ahead of the Democratic Party primary on 13 September for the post in the heavily Democratic state of 20 million people.

Mr Cuomo is a part of Democratic family dynasty, while Ms Nixon is a newcomer to politics who wants to lead a new progressive wing of the party.

They touched on subjects such as improving infrastructure, fighting poverty, defending the rights of women and above all standing up against US President Donald Trump.

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The debate was tense at times.

Mr Cuomo asked Ms Nixon several times to stop cutting him off.

"Can you stop interrupting?" Mr Cuomo said to Mr Nixon.

"Can you stop lying?" she replied.

Mr Cuomo, who has been mentioned as a possible presidential candidate in 2020, said that if he was re-elected governor he would serve out his term.

He said he had experience to boast and Ms Nixon did not.

"She lives in the world of fiction. I live in the world of facts," Mr Cuomo said.

Ms Nixon called Mr Cuomo a corrupt "corporate Democrat" and defended herself as a champion of the poor and of minorities.

The latest polls suggest Mr Cuomo is ahead.

Whoever wins the primary in two weeks is almost assured of being governor because New York is a Democratic stronghold.