Brown on primary loss: “I think everything happens for a reason”

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Just days into his ambitious write-in campaign to earn a fifth term as Mayor of Buffalo, Byron Brown wants to talk about the next four months. But questions about the lead-up to his shocking primary defeat at the hands of India Walton remain.

“There are always things you can do better. I’m going to make adjustments moving forward,” Brown said.

“I am energized. I think everything happens for a reason. And I think this will help us to bring the city together in a way that we have not seen before,” he added.

In his first one-on-one interview with News 4 since the start of his general election campaign, Brown said he will be engaging with the voters. Political observers question whether he did that to the necessary degree in during his primary campaign, which some have call complacent.

“Now as we see the pandemic lifting, one of the things that I usually do in my campaigns… very active door to door, very active in outreach to the voters,” he said.

When asked if that was another way of saying he didn’t do as much door to door outreach during the primary campaign because of the coronavirus pandemic, Brown responded, “Certainly the pandemic had an impact on that during the course of the campaign. If we were following all of the guidelines and being protective of the members of the community, you just could not do that the way I normally do and have done in the past.”

Walton, who will be the Democratic nominee and was not available for an interview Thursday, is already planning how to build on her primary win, as she indicated during a rally in Niagara Square Tuesday.

“I was really strong among my base, which is progressive voters,” Walton said. “It means we have a lot of education to do. We will be out in the community having teach-ins and talk-backs about what our policy platforms mean for every day people.”

In a statement issued Thursday, Walton added, “(W)e’ll be focused on doing what we’ve been doing for months and what helped us win this election; speaking with voters to understand how we can best represent them in City Hall.” She also referred to Brown’s attempt to win another term as a “right-wing write-in campaign based on fear-mongering and smears.”

Write-in votes don’t have be perfect, according to Erie Co. election commissioners

But the mayor claims he has encouragement and support from people in every section of the heavily Democratic City of Buffalo.

“I’m asking every single voter for their vote and their support,” Brown said.

Chris Horvatits is an award-winning anchor and reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2017. See more of his work here.

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