This writer believes that if there had not been a Write In campaign, Kimberly Beaty would have won the Erie County Sheriff’s race. When one team is only focusing on the Write In or Stamp In campaign and are only advising the voters to focus on one candidate, the other candidates in the community lose.
Buffalo, being divided in the mayor’s race, caused Erie County to miss electing the very best sheriff’s candidate we will ever have. And Byron Brown’s failure to endorse Kim publicly, sent a dog whistle to his supporters and also to Garcia’s people, especially when literature was passed out that showed Garcia and Brown together. It is no secret that South Buffalo went overwhelmingly to Byron Brown. South Buffalo has a heavy enrollment of Democratic voters. I don’t t have to see the ballots to know that they also went ‘hard’ for Garcia.
I am sad about India’s loss in the mayor’s race but sadly, the fearmongering the Brown campaign directed against the Walton campaign found its way into the suburbs by supporters of John Garcia and Stefan Mychajliw. We saw political ads calling Kim a radical socialist when in fact, she is more conservative than most people I know. Byron Brown’s intent might have been to demonize India but in the process, White supremacists used those Brown political ads to destroy Kimberly’s chance to win the election last night.
And even with all the attack ads and a Black newspaper columnist calling Ms. Walton a Hood Rat in his article, India Walton still managed to win the majority of voters Buffalo’s east and west sides and the young and Latino voters! I want to thank former NYS Senator Antoine Thompson. His expert leadership in the waning days of the campaign had a tremendous positive impact on India’s winning in Byron Brown’s home turf and Masten District base. However, the Brown campaign’s win at any cost, write in effort, was successful as Byron Brown was re-elected. I also want to thank the courageous, local and national elected officials, who put principle over politics and did the right thing in this very contentious election. But at what cost did we pay to appease his vanity and self interest? I say the price we paid is a divided community, the loss of a chance to elect a great sheriff and the empowerment of White supremacists and racists in Buffalo and Erie County, for years to come.
Tuesday t night was not just the loss of a mayor’s election or a sheriff’s race, it was the validation of a process where winning is everything regardless of the means or methods used to achieve that win. It is indeed a sad day for Buffalo and for Erie County.