BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - A Mayoral candidate has stepped up to the plate, giving Byron Brown some competition from his own party this Fall.
Former FBI Special Agent in charge, Bernard Tolbert announced his candidacy for Mayor of the City of Buffalo on Saturday.
He said, "I see a Buffalo that is appealing. It's an appealing place to live, work and raise a family. I see a Buffalo that builds upon its assets, rather than looking for silver bullet projects."
Tolbert told a crowd of about 150 supporters his priorities include improving schools, job growth and neighborhood development -- both economically, and in terms of safety. "We must make our streets a safe place where seniors and all others are not fearful of leaving their homes," he said.
Regarding the improvement of schools, Tolbert said, "It is heart wrenching for me now, to see the school system that helped me become who I am, failing our children. We must see every child in this city as if he or she were our own, and fight for real results."
Tolbert and Mayor Brown will both seek the Democratic endorsement.
In a statement, Brown says he's "proud" of his administration's accomplishments and "great progress."
Tolbert is well aware he's the underdog. Brown has over a million dollars in his campaign chest, as well as the recommendation of Democratic Chairman, Jeremy Zellner.
"I admit that his recommendation carries a lot of weight, but I'm confident that there are enough people who are ready for change in this city that we still have a chance of getting that endorsement," Tolbert said.
Republican challenger, Sergio Rodriguez, agrees the people of Buffalo want change, and said he's the man to deliver it.
Mayoral candidate Rodriguez said, "We're focused on the issues that matter most to people. I don't see much of a sharp contrast between the other two candidates, as opposed to my candidacy. So I think we bring something very different to the table."
Tolbert and Rodriguez both have similar strategies for reaching voters. They will walk through neighborhoods knocking on doors, and going to community groups.
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