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India Walton won the Democratic primary for mayor of Buffalo Tuesday night.

India Walton, a former nurse and community activist, won Buffalo's Democratic mayoral primary, beating four-term Mayor Byron Brown in June 2021. (Photo: Robert Kirkham/Buffalo News)

Schumer Endorses 'Inspiring Community Leader' India Walton as Buffalo's Next Mayor

The U.S. Senate majority leader's move comes as some key New York Democrats refuse to back the democratic socialist.

Jessica Corbett

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Thursday endorsed Buffalo mayoral candidate India Walton, who has faced a spate of attacks from fellow Democrats within and beyond New York since defeating incumbent Byron Brown in the party's primary earlier this year.

"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," Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a statement. "India is an inspiring community leader, mother, nurse, and a lifelong Buffalonian with a clear progressive vision for her hometown."

"India Walton won the Democratic primary fair and square and is the nominee," he continued, "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."

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

The Buffalo News noted that Schumer's move comes as other Democrats, such as New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and Congressman Brian Higgins, who represents Buffalo, "have refused to take sides in the battle between an upstart primary winner and a four-term incumbent who's waging a write-in campaign."

Walton, a democratic socialist, welcomed Schumer's support in a tweet, saying she was "honored" to receive his endorsement and vowing that together they "will beat back these Republican attacks and build the safe, healthy Buffalo we all need and deserve."

The development comes after several Walton supporters and party members in the state called for the resignation or removal of New York Democratic Party Chair Jay Jacobs after he compared the progressive mayoral candidate to former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.

CBS New York reports that Walton said she accepts an apology from Jacobs over his widely rebuked comments.

"Initially, I was disappointed, but also, I've not always said the right thing at the right time, so I extend a lot of grace to Mr. Jacobs," Walton said. "I think that had he had an opportunity to know who I am and what kind of person I am, he wouldn't have made that type of parallel."


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