Republican Challenges for Mayoral Seat

February 6, 2013 Updated Feb 6, 2013 at 10:21 PM EDT

By Kendra Eaglin

February 6, 2013 Updated Feb 6, 2013 at 10:21 PM EDT

Buffalo, NY

With the back drop of city hall behind him, 32 year old GOP candidate Sergio Rodriguez announced his bid for mayor Wednesday afternoon.

Rodriguez was born in the Dominican Republic and his family immigrated to the U.S. when he was 10 years old. For the past decade Rodriguez has lived in south Buffalo.

He joined the Marine Corps straight out of high school and was promoted to Sergeant.

Rodriguez holds a Master's Degree in Organizational Leadership from Medaille College where he's been the Director of Veterans Affairs for the past two years.

Rodriguez has been attending block club meetings and talking to the community and he believes his party affiliation is a non-factor.

"You tell me. Do you think a mother out there, a single mother worried about putting food at their table and their kid being involved in gang activities, you think she's worried about whether there's a Republican or Democrat at city hall? They're not. They're concerned about the issues that matter," said Rodriguez.

Bernie Tolbert, the former head of the Buffalo FBI office and former Senior Vice President of Security for the NBA says he is considering a run for mayor on the Democratic line although he hasn't made a final decision.

Mayor Byron Brown is expected to announce whether he'll run again sometime this month.