Buffalo Common Council members weigh in on Mayor Brown’s victory

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BUFFALO N.Y. (WIVB) – The ballots have all been counted and Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown secures a historic win over Democratic Nominee India Walton.

Buffalo Common Council members Chris Scanlon and Joe Golombek tell News 4 that now that they know who will be mayor come January 1st it’s time to move forward and get back to focusing on ways to better Buffalo.

“People thought that the Brown campaign was crazy in June and July when we were talking about doing the write-in but we spent a lot of time educating voters and letting people know on how to either stamp down the name. So in that regard it’s really cool to be a part of history,” said Golombek, who oversees the North District in Buffalo.

Golombek was one of the members on Buffalo’s common council who backed Mayor Byron Brown since day one of the mayor’s write-in campaign.

“It was a lot more of a relief on November 2nd than it was on June 22nd,” he said.

Brown won the election with 38,338 total write-in votes and surpassed Democratic challenger India Walton’s 25,773 votes. The BOE has counted write-in votes from all 291 districts.

“Obviously the last week or two a lot of things up in the air. It’s nice knowing things have been validated, verified and we can continue to move on. We know who’s going to be mayor come January first and we can continue doing the business that the people of Buffalo elected us to do,” said Scanlon, who covers the South district.

Golombek and Scanlon both agree that re-electing Brown for a 5th term with a write-in campaign, could show that residents are overall satisfied with the direction Buffalo is going and they want to continue that.

“I think it’s a good thing overall because Brown has been in the office for the past 4 terms and while some may complain that he’s gotten stale because he’s been in there for a while, I think it a weird sort of way, losing the primary reinvigorated him,” Golombek said.

“I think all of us want the same thing, we want the best version of the city of Buffalo and I think we all want to get there,” Scanlon said. “We just have different ideas on how to get there and how we think we can get there. I think we do, as elected officials, have that responsibility to listen to all ideas and everyone from every corner of the city of Buffalo.”

India Walton released a statement Friday evening saying she “respectfully accepts the will of the voters.” She also says “this election was not an end, but a beginning.”

News 4 reached out to several local lawmakers who endorsed India Walton throughout her campaign. including NYS Sen. Sean Ryan, NYS Assembly member Jon Rivera, Erie County Legislator April Baskin, and University District Councilman Rasheed Wyatt. Each person was unavailable for comment Saturday.

During a news conference Friday Sen. Ryan did congratulate Mayor Brown on his victory, adding that he hopes all levels of government take a serious approach to the issues in the city brought to light during the race.

Sarah Minkewicz is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.

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