In a shocking upstate upset, Democratic-Socialist rebel India Walton toppled four-term incumbent Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown — an ally of Gov. Andrew Cuomo — in Tuesday’s primary election.
Walton, a 38-year-old mom of 4 and staunch union supporter, was propelled to victory, in half, by means of sturdy backing by the leftist Working Families Party — and can seemingly change into the primary feminine mayor in Buffalo’s historical past.
“I became a mother at 14. The majority of my campaign’s leadership team is working mothers. People like us often get told we don’t belong in politics. But WFP [Working Families Party] believed in us and invested in us,” she stated in an announcement Wednesday.
A self-described socialist, Walton was backed by the Buffalo chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America.
Her stunning victory is paying homage to fellow Demcoratic Socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s rebel win over veteran pol and former Queens Democratic Party boss Joe Crowley in the 2018 primary.
Walton stated she obtained a congratulatory call from AOC, who tweeted about her victory. An AOC spokesperson confirmed the congresswoman chatted with Walton about her smashing victory.
Walton’s win marks an ideological sea change for Buffalo.
James Griffin, who served as Buffalo’s mayor for 16 years in the Eighties and Nineteen Nineties, was a moderate-to-conservative Democrat who obtained backing of the Conservative and Republican events throughout his reign.
After the win, Walton issued a warning shot to different Democratic incumbents.
“If you are in elected office, right now you are being put on notice,” she stated throughout her victory speech Tuesday night time.
“I’m just excited to be a part of this movement that is ushering progressive politics into Buffalo,” Walton stated.
She continued: “Being the third poorest mid-sized 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.”
Walton additionally stated lots of her volunteer supporters will probably be becoming a member of the WFP, which regularly clashes and backs candidates in Democratic primaries towards extra centrist incumbents.
Other Democrats — including Cuomo — claimed the race had extra to do with Brown’s lackluster marketing campaign than a craving for socialism. Brown, a former state Democratic Party chairman, ran a Rose Garden technique and sought to disregard his chief rival.
Brown was so assured of victory that he arrogantly refused to debate Walton, which Cuomo on Wednesday referred to as a strategic blunder.
“His campaign strategy, as I understand it, was basically to avoid engaging in a campaign. And then you had a very low turnout,” stated Cuomo, a three-term incumbent who’s grappling with investigations over his dealing with of the coronavirus pandemic and sexual harassment claims.
“Avoiding the campaign … it doesn’t work. We’ve seen that movie before,” he added.
In the town, different left-leaning candidate notched a foothold in the City Council.
Alexa Aviles additionally captured greater than 40 % of first poll votes in Brooklyn’s thirty eighth Council district masking Sunset Park and Red Hook.
Caban practically pulled off an upset in the Democratic primary election for Queens District Attorney in 2019, dropping in a squeaker to Melinda Katz after a recount.