Another socialist, AOC-backed candidate bites the dust in Buffalo, NY (probably)

AP Photo/Joshua Bessex

The city of Buffalo, New York, located near the Canadian border, was making headlines this year for more than just their annoying football team. (At least if you’re a Jets fan, anyway.) Earlier in the year, incumbent Mayor Byron Brown, a Democrat, lost a stunning upset race in his party’s primary election to a self-proclaimed socialist named India Walton. That victory drew a lot of celebrity support for Walton, with figures from Hollywood and Broadway showing up to stump for her. AOC traveled to Buffalo multiple times to host campaign appearances for her, hoping to replicate her own path to Congress where she ousted a “moderate” Democrat. Elizabeth Warren showed up to support her also.

But Mayor Brown refused to simply concede defeat. He launched a write-in campaign to hold on to his office and kept himself in the running. As of this morning, Brown appeared to have a comfortable lead over Walton, though she hasn’t conceded yet and the write-in ballots won’t be counted until November 16th. Brown declared victory anyway and his team is celebrating what looks like another four years in office for the boss. (NY Post)

The incumbent Democratic mayor of Buffalo — running as a write-in candidate — declared victory on Tuesday night as he led a nearly 20 point lead over his Democratic Party opponent.

India Walton, a socialist backed by many high-profile progressives, refused to concede to Mayor Byron Brown in the highly-publicized contest until her campaign sees “all the votes,” her spokesman Jesse Myerson told The Post via text.

Brown, 63, who lost to Walton in the June Democratic primary, claimed what would be a stunning victory in a speech to supporters from his campaign headquarters shortly after 11 p.m.

“Today’s election, it’s not just a referendum on the future of the city of Buffalo, it was a referendum on the future of our democracy,” Brown said.

Walton’s path to this juncture started in a rather dubious way. She clearly won a narrow victory in the primary in the spring, but that was during a major surge in the pandemic. Turnout for that primary was simply dismal and that’s the sort of race that can produce surprising results. What it didn’t indicate was any sort of broad support for her, even among her own party. Write-in candidates are generally considered long-shots, but Brown clearly held on to much of the previous support he enjoyed in his four prior victories.

The last polling in this race done by Emerson College a few weeks ago showed Brown with a 54 -36 lead over his socialist opponent. He had received endorsements from the likes of New York City Congressman Tom Suozzi. Suozzi tweeted out his approval of the apparent victory, saying that it was “a clear triumph of core Democratic values over the far left socialist agenda.” (Yes, you read that correctly. A Democrat said that.)

Although it wasn’t a technical endorsement, the Chairman of the NY State GOP even sent along congratulations. Nick Langworthy tweeted “socialism has been defeated in Buffalo.” The party divide in Buffalo is so wide that the Republican candidate never stood a chance, so the best they could do was hope that the socialist lost.

As I said, these results are still unofficial. While Brown’s lead appears to line up pretty much with the late polling numbers, the absentee and military ballots will not be counted for two more weeks. That means that anything is still possible, but do you really think that the military vote is going to swing heavily toward a socialist? I would say that it’s a pretty safe bet that the socialist hopes and dreams of AOC and Elizabeth Warren have been dashed once again.