OPEN LETTER: An Election That Matters: Vote for Kim Beaty for Sheriff JUNE 22!

By Nathan McMurray

Kim Beaty has 30 plus years of experience as a police officer. She has trained thousands of junior officers on the issues you care about, like better policing, de-escalation, compassion. Even her opponent was one of her students. So why isn’t this highly accomplished woman our candidate in Erie County? 

You’d have to ask the Erie County Democratic leadership. 

People assume elections are about choosing the best person for the job. We sometimes begrudgingly accept that the best person isn’t available, so we choose between the lesser of two evils. But here’s the part that’s even tougher to take. Often, the best person is there, overlooked, pushed aside, neglected, isolated, or disregarded . . .  used as a pawn in someone else’s game. 

That’s what’s happening to Kim Beaty. 

I know, they label me the bad guy, because I don’t take their talking points. I never kiss the ring.         

And I speak out. So let me keep walking down that path and let me state clearly. In this moment, this inflection point for our nation, Erie County’s leadership pushed aside the more experienced African American woman, who is supported and endorsed by the Service Employees International Union, the Criterion, and large portions of the African American community in Buffalo (including the vast majority of prominent African American clergy) to suit the interests of white suburban politicians who have been fundraising for her opponent. 

There I said it. And you can choose to act or not act upon that information. 

Now the political machine (operated by the party Chairman who is also the Commissioner of the Board of Elections—which is just not normal and doesn’t happen anywhere else) is mobilizing not just to beat Kim, but destroy her. The online assassins are out in force telling you (over and over) that she dropped out of the race (i.e., that this is all somehow her fault). Does that make sense? Others are dragging up petty things from decades ago to defame Kim. I actually read (a front page story) in the Buffalo News recently about how Kim allegedly insulted someone’s wig—30 years ago! Not last weeks, or month, or year. 30 years ago!

Here’s the truth. She’s the better candidate. She was forced out, and now she’s fighting back. Kim says the party boss who pushes the endorsements told her, “You don’t look like a sheriff.” He apparently thought that she would not appeal to White voters in the suburbs. He says that he never said that. He’s calling her a liar. Well, either he’s a liar, or Kim’s a liar. I believe Kim. 

For her to refuse to be kept out, to fight back, already shows amazing integrity. I understand the emotional (and financial) trauma people go through when they run for office. It isn’t easy, physically, mentally, or in any other way, especially when the party establishment is indifferent or antagonistic towards you. This is why we need to help Kim. 

The good news is the party boss—nor the committees, and their chairs, many of whom work for the party boss—doesn’t chose. They endorse. The people choose. If you are a Democrat in Erie County you can vote for Kim on JUNE 22 (early voting June 12).

Kim’s opponent may be hurt reading this because of his aspirations to lead. If he wins—and he likely will given that the party machine is almost unbeatable, with resources, elected official support, and manpower earned and coerced that few grassroots candidates can withstand—I will support him fully. I am not attacking him. I am supporting her. He would be far superior to our current sheriff, the White supremacist maniac who turned our local holding center into a house of horrors. 

But right now, while we have a chance to fight for someone more experienced, more in tune with our values, simply better, we gotta fight for Kim! 

Mahatma Gandhi broadly stated, “You should be the change you need to find on the planet.” In other worlds, you want to fight Trumpism? Fight hate? Change America? You can put a sign up in the suburbs. You can go to a march in the city. But you can also vote. Right here. In Erie County. In Buffalo, In the suburbs where they say she doesn’t stand a chance. VOTE FOR KIM JUNE 22. Every vote will send a message. 

Think about where we are and what this could mean. Last year, there were some sad days in our country and some sad days in Buffalo. Police officers beat our fellow citizens in the streets of Niagara Square (and Rochester!). Politicians from our region cheered a White supremacist coup in Washington. I stood and watched our now sitting Congressman (billionaire Chris Jacobs) essentially tell you all that #BlacksLivesMatter is a terrorist organization and spread conspiracy as his colleagues and the Buffalo elite looked away.

To elect an African American woman (here) who is with us, who is so ready, and who will be a champion against such hate, is the exact type of change we need to find for Western New York!

May the best woman win. HELP. HER. WIN.