Was the GOP right to back Byron Brown in Buffalo mayoral race?

By Daniel Schiffhauer

The Buffalo mayoral race has been one of the strangest political events in modern history. 

Not only has the incumbent mayor, Byron Brown, been forced to conduct a write-in campaign after losing the primary, and not only was the position of mayor contested between two persons from the same political party (even if Brown was “independent” for the ballot), but the Buffalo GOP actively supported a candidate who was a past adversary to their own party. 

But as a Republican myself, I’m saying that what they did made complete sense. 

According to India Walton’s campaign, Brown took in about $194,000 from Republicans and Conservatives after his loss in the June primary.  Republican mailers were showing up at the doorsteps of voters encouraging them to support Brown for his “proven, common-sense leadership”, as well as for his support of police, protection for neighborhoods, and fiscal responsibility, as reported by Robert J. McCarthy of the Buffalo News.

Even though the GOP did not field a candidate, voters should advocate for the candidate who has the most similarity to them. 

Think about this, has there ever been a politician whose values, beliefs, and practices match perfectly with your own?  Voters align with whoever fits them best, and the Buffalo mayoral election was an extreme example of that. It just so happened that in Buffalo the best fit was a candidate of an opposing party.

Daniel Schiffhauer was a student in Campaigns, Candidates and Current Elections, an honors course at St. Bonaventure University.

Categories: Jandoli Institute, Politics

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