BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – After losing Tuesday’s Democratic primary, it would take an ambitious write-in campaign for incumbent Byron Brown to extend his tenure to a city-record fifth term. But the head of the Buffalo Police Benevolent Association says Brown would have the union’s support.
“We’d absolutely endorse it,” union president John Evans told News 4. “We hope that he does strongly consider it, and our hope is that he’d be successful.”
Brown has not offered any public comments yet on his intentions for the November election.
The Erie County Democratic Party publicly pledged its support to Walton after her primary victory. Walton will be the only candidate on the ballot – neither the Republican Party nor any other party is running a candidate.
Walton, 38, proudly considers herself a democratic socialist. She says the city could better allocate resources “to the places that we know naturally reduce crime.”
Walton says those include things like mental health services, community centers and after-school programs.
The police union doesn’t see it that way.
“Miss Walton’s platform is to defund the police,” Evans claimed. “She’s got a progressive moment, which anywhere that’s occurred across the country, it’s failed. Crime is off the charts.”
Walton was not shocked by the news. “No surprise here,” she tweeted.
But Walton wanted to reiterate she feels prepared to work with others, no matter their views.
“This people-powered administration is coming into office to serve all of Buffalo,” she said in a statement to News 4, “and that includes our local business community. We are open to working with anyone who is truly invested in creating a brighter future for our beloved City of Good Neighbors.”
Evans said he expressed the union’s position to Police Commissioner Byron Lockwood, whom Evans assumed would pass the info along to Brown.
Evans estimates about half or slightly more than half of his members reside in the city and would be eligible to vote in November.
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Nick Veronica is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team as a Digital Executive Producer in 2021. He previously worked at NBC Sports and The Buffalo News. You can follow Nick on Facebook and Twitter and find more of his work here.