The socialist running in this week’s election for Buffalo mayor, India Walton, had a roster of impressive Democrats endorsing her campaign, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). All of that firepower did not help her defeat a write-in campaign against her.
Dr. Byron Brown took a sizable win over Walton with about 59 percent of the vote. Although there were early reports that because Brown’s votes were write-ins, there may be recounts and drawn-out verifications, Walton conceded the race earlier this week.
Walton is a socialist community activist and former nurse who gained significant notoriety earlier this year when she unexpectedly defeated Brown in the Democratic primary. Brown responded to that loss by organizing a write-in campaign to take another shot at the seat.
By winning the election, Brown became the only person ever elected as Buffalo Mayor five times. In losing, Walton failed to become the first open socialist to win a mayoral race in a major city in the U.S.
Walton’s loss becomes an indication that progressive leftist policies are not as popular as many establishment Democrats would like to believe. When voters, even those in a deep-blue city, are given a well-developed choice, socialism is still not something Americans are ready to embrace.
Brown was able to effectively show the reality of Walton’s socialist agenda during his write-in campaign. He made the general election, in essence, a referendum on socialism and “super-woke” policies. He went on in his victory speech to say that the referendum went further, going to “the future of our democracy.”
Walton campaigned on a vow to completely revamp Buffalo’s politics and approach to public safety and security.
She had announced plans for a “tenant’s bill of rights” that would implement rent control and create an office for a “tenant advocate” in the city. She said she would make Buffalo a sanctuary city for illegal immigrants and planned to take the police department off mental health calls.