India Walton accepts Byron Brown in Buffalo mayor race

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India Walton accepts Byron Brown in Buffalo mayor race

Buffalo, NY — In a shocking reversal of political fortunes, Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown has won a write-in campaign for a new term, besting India Walton, a democratic socialist who won a primary I was surprised by Mr. Brown. June and had attracted national attention as a champion of progressive values.

Ms Walton – a first-time candidate – accepted on Wednesday afternoon. “It doesn’t look like we’ll end up with enough votes to inaugurate the Walton administration in January,” she said. wrote on twitter.

Mr Brown, 63, declared victory late Tuesday as ballots began and it became clear that write-ins would carry over to the day: with all regions reporting, just over 41 per cent of the vote went to Ms Walton. were taken and marked for 59 percent. “Write-in,” or from 23,986 to 34,273.

Mr Brown ran a spirited campaign for a fifth term and with the help of a diverse coalition of conservative and liberal supporters, as well as the support of several major labor unions and plans to distribute thousands of ink stamps bearing the mayor’s name. So that voters can mark their names on the ballot papers.

The apparent victory for Mr Brown – a centrist and a lifelong Democrat – is a severe rebuke to the party’s left wing, both nationally and in New York, which celebrated Ms Walton’s unexpected victory in June, with volunteers and flocks of prominent supporters. Were. for his campaign in recent months.

It included Senators Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, as well as Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who represent Queens and parts of the Bronx but Buffalo last weekend, to campaign on Ms. Walton’s behalf. traveled to.

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For all that, Ms Walton was likely hurt by the lack of help from the state party leadership, as Governor Kathy Hochul – a Buffalo native – and New York State Democratic Committee Chair J S Jacobs declined to endorse. His.

And while Ms Walton began to attract the support of more Democratic establishment figures such as Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, she was unable to translate the energy of her surprise primary victory into a general election victory. She could not match the power of Mr. Brown’s power and a campaign that used a more liberal basis to persuade him to go to the polls.

In many ways, Ms Walton’s candidacy underscores a deep rift in the Democratic Party, which has seen moderates like President Biden and New York City mayor-elect Eric Adams repeatedly scuffle with more left-wing candidates and elected officials. .

Ms. Walton, 39, would have been a leading mayor as the first woman and first black woman to lead New York’s second largest city, as well as the first socialist to lead a major American city in decades.

She has an inspiring life story as a single mother and labor organizer, a narrative that she was hooked on in commercials, some of which were paid for by groups such as the Working Families Party, a labor-supported organization. Which often favors progressive candidates.

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The strength of his primary campaign surprised Mr Brown, who largely refused to accept his candidacy, winning comfortably in previous campaigns in a city in which Democrats outnumber Republicans.

However, after Ms Walton’s victory, Meyer’s slanderous attitude changed radically, as she announced a write-in campaign, and attempted a legal push to get herself on the ballot. That ballot effort failed after a pair of judges ruled against Mr Brown in September. Yet some political observers here predicted that Mr. Brown was the favourite, if only because of his 16 years in office and widespread name recognition.

Lauren D’Avolio and Dan Higgins contributed reporting from Buffalo.

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