Heads were being scratched and eyes were rolling throughout Buffalo, New York, on Wednesday, following reports that Democrats in the Empire State’s second largest city had nominated a socialist for mayor.
With near-final results in, India Walton — union representative, community organizer and self-described socialist — had defeated four-term Mayor Byron Brown by 11,132 votes to 9,625.
In capturing the all-important Democratic nomination with no Republican or minor party candidate, Walton is “all but guaranteed to ascend to the mayoralty,” according to British-owned “Guardian”(which reported on the race to an international audience).
But what the national and international press was not reporting was the gradually developing talk of a write-in campaign for incumbent Brown to stop Walton.
“It was a very, very low turnout and Mayor Brown has $400,000 that he didn’t spend in his campaign fund,” Ralph Lorigo, Erie County (Buffalo) Chairman of the New York Conservative Party, told Newsmax.
Lorigo, whose party holds the third ballot line (Row C) on the New York ballot, added that “If the business community got behind him [Brown] in a big way, they could stop Walton, in my opinion.”
Among the items on Walton’s campaign manifesto that Lorigo feels would generate a strong write-in campaign for Brown are a moratorium on charters schools, a major cut in the budget of the city police force to instead focus “on the root causes of crime.”
Walton has also vowed to keep police from enforcing low-level drug possession offenses and responding to most mental health calls. She would make Buffalo a sanctuary city for illegal immigrants and convert the city’s fleet of official vehicles into electric cars.
A write-in campaign is a major under-taking but Brown, a fixture in Buffalo for sixteen years and past Democratic state chairman, might be well-known enough to make it happen.
The last socialist mayor anywhere was Frank Zeidler, who stepped down as mayor of Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1960.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.