Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown

BUFFALO (TNS) — Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown is considering mounting a write-in campaign in November after losing the Democratic primary to India Walton, a socialist community activist.

The Buffalo News reports that with no Republican on the ballot in the fall, the winner of the Democratic primary is guaranteed to become the city’s next mayor. Even if there were a Republican running, Buffalo is heavily Democratic and Republicans have a tough time winning city office.

Brown was seeking to become the only person to win a fifth term as Buffalo mayor, according to WIVB. The loss to Walton in Tuesday’s primary was considered a major upset.

In three previous Democratic primaries, Brown won by double digits and went uncontested in another, WIVB said.

He would face tough odds as a write-in candidate, but he and his team are considering it, according to the News.

If Brown decides to pursue the write-in path, he’d do it without the support of local Democrats, Erie County Democratic Chairman Jeremy J. Zellner told the News.

“I have pledged our full support to her,” Zellner said of Walton, according to the paper. “We are with the next mayor of Buffalo — India Walton.”

Some Buffalo leaders are alarmed about Walton’s politics and have been urging Brown to mobilize his City Hall forces to a degree that apparently failed during the primary, the News said.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a close ally of Brown who has often praised him on visits to Buffalo, questioned his campaign strategy during a press conference Wednesday.

Mayor Brown, who I know very well, and I have nothing but good things to say about Mayor Brown, but he decided basically his campaign strategy as I understand it was basically to avoid engaging in a campaign and then you had a very low turnout,” Cuomo said. “We know that combination. We’ve seen that before. That doesn’t work. Avoiding the campaign, this isn’t really happening, doesn’t work.”

Walton embraces the label “socialist.” She told the News she absolutely considers herself to be one.

“The entire intent of this campaign is to draw down power and resources to the ground level into the hands of the people,” she said, according to the paper. “I’m just excited to be a part of this movement that is ushering progressive politics into Buffalo. Being the third poorest midsize city in this country, we should be considering how we begin to eradicate concentrated poverty and disadvantage, and democratic socialist leanings are a big step in getting us there.”

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