Buffalo Write-In Campaign Could Foil Historic Win

4-term incumbent Byron Brown leads polls against socialist India Walton, who won primary
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 2, 2021 9:15 AM CDT
Buffalo Write-In Campaign Could Foil Historic Win
Buffalo mayoral candidate India Walton speaks to supporters during a rally.   (AP Photo/Joshua Bessex, File)

Tuesday is Election Day in parts of the US, and the Virginia governor's race is the big one on everybody's political radar. But another interesting contest is unfolding in Buffalo, one that could result in the city getting a socialist mayor. The race pits India Walton, a 39-year-old democratic socialist, against four-term incumbent Byron Brown, a 63-year-old Democrat. Back in June, Walton stunned the state's political orbit by defeating Brown in the Democratic primary. In deep-blue Buffalo, the winner of the Democratic primary is typically the general-election winner, too. But in this case, Brown, who barely campaigned in the primary, has mounted an aggressive write-in campaign, reports the New York Times.

And it appears to be working. A late poll by WIVB/Emerson College has Brown up more than 17 points among likely voters. He has depicted Walton, a political novice, as too inexperienced and too extreme for the city, while she has countered with lines such as, "I am a self-avowed democratic socialist. The first word in that is ‘Democrat.'" No matter what the polls say, the logistics of winning a write-in campaign are daunting. Brown's team even purchased tens of thousand of rubber stamps, which voters can legally use on their ballots, to avoid the possibility that people might write his name incorrectly. Because of the write-in wrinkle, it could take days, even weeks, to learn the winner, notes the Buffalo News. (More Buffalo stories.)

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