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Wednesday, October 27, 2021
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Buffalo Mayoral Election scheduled for Nov. 2

India Walton (D) leads in the polls over incumbent Byron Brown (I)

Buffalo mayoral candidate India Walton poses with supporters during the lead-up to the Democratic primary.
Buffalo mayoral candidate India Walton poses with supporters during the lead-up to the Democratic primary.

With just one week until the Buffalo Mayoral Election is set to kick off, four candidates are in the running, but only one name will appear on the ballot.

Democratic nominee India Walton will be the only candidate to appear on the ballot, however, incumbent Byron Brown (I), Sean Miles (R) and Benjamin Carlisle (I) are all running as write-in candidates. 

The four candidates had their first and only debate at the Frank E. MerriWeather Jr. Library on Sept. 9. The debate centered on four-term Mayor Brown and Democratic primary winner Walton discussing problems facing the city of Buffalo.. 

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown shakes hands with Black Student Union (BSU) e-board member James Battle in 2015.

Walton says Brown has mishandled multiple serious problems facing Buffalo, such as high crime rates and segregation.

“There’s one person up here that’s been defunding our community that’s caused crime to run rampant the last five years,” Walton said during the debate.

Walton is running on a platform supporting “free[ing] police to do police work” which includes solving crime and investigating crime, and keeping the community safe. 

Brown argued that during his tenure, Buffalonians have experienced the highest tax breaks the city has ever seen and seen an increase in diversity in city hall staff. 

“We have cut the tax rate to [the] lowest it’s been in Buffalo in 30 years, hired the most diverse workforce in the city of Buffalo, property values have gone up in the city of Buffalo,” Brown said during the debate.

Brown neglected to mention that his diverse staff does not reflect the rest of the city; Buffalo is the sixth most segregated city in the U.S.

Walton will be the only candidate written on the ballot in November. Brown, along with Miles and Carlisle can be written in, but will not appear on the ballot after losing to Walton in the June Democratic primary.

Although Miles and Carlisle participated in the Sept. 9 debate, they underperformed in the primary. Brown received 46% of the primary votes, but Walton ultimately won 51% according to Ballotpedia.

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Voters must register either online or by mail by Oct. 8. Those who are eligible for early or absentee ballots can begin voting on Oct. 23. The election will be held on Nov. 2. Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. and you can look up your polling location here.

Dan Eastman is the assistant managing editor and can be reached at 



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