BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Political experts have referred to Mayor Byron Brown’s failed primary run as one of complacency. Now that he is mounting a write-in challenge against Democratic nominee India Walton, he has signaled a different strategy will be used.
“I take full responsibility. I apologize to the voters. I can’t go back. I can only go forward,” Brown said of his primary strategy during the launch of his general election write-in campaign on Monday.
Masten District Councilman Ulysees Wingo, a Brown supporter, says the mayor will run a robust, educational, and information campaign.
“He made that mistake (during the primary) and he is trying to rectify and reconcile that mistake,” Wingo said. “He’s going to run a campaign.”
Brown has already said he will accept invitations to debate. There was no debate between Walton and Brown during the primary campaign.
Betty Jean Grant, the former common council member and former county legislator who ran against Brown in the 2017 Democratic primary, was disappointed with Brown’s primary campaign.
“For him to not let the people know, the voters who were undecided, I thought he showed a lack of respect for them,” Grant said.
Grant is supporting Walton in the general election. She is concerned Brown’s write-in effort could prove to be divisive for Buffalo.
“When you have been the chair of the state Democratic Party and you’re going to run against the Democratic Party, it shows your loyalty is to yourself and your personal needs,” Grant said. “Not the party or the people the party represents.”
But Wingo says he believes it will be healthy for the community to see a real campaign from Brown.
“We don’t know how strong or how well a candidate Miss Walton is because she really did not have a challenge from the mayor,” the councilman said.
The general election will take place on November 2nd.
Chris Horvatits is an award-winning reporter who joined the News 4 team in December 2017. See more of his work here.