An Unlikely Outcome in Buffalo, New York

The Story:

Usually a write-in campaign is a quixotic effort, launched to make a point rather than actually to win an election. This year, though, a write-in campaign was launched in Buffalo, New York by someone who was perfectly intent upon winning the office of mayor. And he did so.


Byron Brown has served four terms as Mayor of the beautiful city at the eastern end of Lake Erie, and now he will serve a fifth. The way he won this fifth term, though, is one for the history books.

Brown, a Democrat, lost the primary election in June to India Walton: a nurse, union activist, and socialist. The Republican Party did not offer a nominee, and in September the Board of Elections began printing ballots with Walton as the only listed candidate for mayor.

Brown, though, organized an effective write-in campaign. Its success came despite the fact that on September 19 The Buffalo News reported that Byron Brown and his administration are under investigation by the FBI on matters that involve municipal contracts.

The Thing to Know:

Walton hurt herself with a vow to make sharp cuts in the budget of the city’s Police Department. Brown received more than 58% of the vote in Nov. 2.

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