Schumer endorses democratic socialist India Walton in Buffalo mayor’s race

Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) addresses reporters after the weekly policy luncheon on Tuesday, September 28, 2021.
Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Thursday threw his support behind Democratic nominee and self-described democratic socialist India Walton in the Buffalo mayoral race.

In his endorsement statement, Schumer said Walton, a nurse and community activist, is an “inspiring community leader” who has a “clear progressive vision for her hometown.”

“As Buffalo voters start to head to the polls this weekend, I urge them to cast their ballot for India Walton as the next Mayor of Buffalo. India is an inspiring community leader, mother, nurse, and a lifelong Buffalonian with a clear progressive vision for her hometown,” the majority leader said in a statement.

Walton sent shockwaves through New York when she secured the Democratic nomination for Buffalo mayor in June, beating incumbent Mayor Byron Brown (D) and longshot candidate Le’Candice Durham.

After the race, however, Brown announced that she would be waging a write-in campaign to win another term as chief of Buffalo.

“It is important to know that no election is completed, no election is completed, until the general election takes place,” Brown said in June.

If Walton is elected next month she will become the first-ever female executive in Buffalo, and the most high-profile socialist mayor the U.S. has seen in several years. The election is scheduled for Nov. 2.

Schumer, in his endorsement, said he has always seen the Democratic Party as having a “big tent,” while underscoring the inclusivity of the group.

“India Walton won the Democratic primary fair and square and is the nominee, and I have always believed that the Democratic party is a big tent and is strongest and most able to build national majorities and bring meaningful change, when it is inclusive — that is exactly how the Senate Democratic caucus is structured,” Schumer wrote.

“Throughout my career, I have worked long, hard, and diligently to bring federal resources to Western New York and I look forward to doing that with India Walton for the betterment of the people of Buffalo,” he added.

The majority leader’s endorsement came after he dismissed a question from a reporter this weekend that asked why he had not thrown his support behind a candidate yet when his colleagues, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), had already expressed their support for Walton.

Schumer refused to answer the question, telling the reporter “today’s the day to talk about what’s going on in Washington, it’s not a day for politics.”

Sanders sent out an email blast earlier this month to raise funds for Walton, emphasizing her progressive stance.

“Please make a $2.70 contribution to help India Walton win the general election to become the next mayor of the city of Buffalo, New York, and to support our work electing progressives nationwide,” the email from Sanders read.

Tags Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Bernie Sanders Charles Schumer Chuck Schumer

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