By Richard Lee
At one point during the Sept. 9 Buffalo mayoral debate, incumbent Byron Brown said he felt like a three-way punching bag.
True, Brown was taking shots from each of the other three candidates in the debate, but India Walton, who defeated Brown in the June 22 Democratic primary, could have made the same claim.
Throughout the debate, Brown did his best to paint Walton as a radical socialist who will defund the police department and raise taxes – comments that often were echoed by the other two candidates on the stage — Benjamin Carlisle and Jaz Miles.
Walton, who describes herself as a Democratic socialist, did in fact say she supported a modest tax increase – a comment that Brown immediately pounced upon that one that he is likely to remind voters of.
Walton’s strongest moments came when she reminded Brown that she won the Democratic primary. At one point, she wondered aloud why Brown was on the stage since he lost the primary.
After his primary loss, Brown announced plans to run as a write-in candidate, but a federal judge subsequently ruled that his name can appear on the ballot as an independent candidate. The Erie County Board of Elections is appealing the ruling.
Richard Lee, executive director of the Jandoli Institute, covered politics and government as a reporter and later served as Deputy Director of Communication for two New Jersey governors.