BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Buffalo’s 2021 mayoral race now has at least two official contenders after Buffalo-native India Walton declared her candidacy over the weekend.
She's running as a democrat and will potentially go for the working families line, as well.
Walton held an hour-long virtual kick-off event where she laid out her plans for her campaign.
“We have so many brilliant progressive thinkers in this city, it doesn’t make sense to me that the people in power are so regressive,” she said.
Walton is a nurse, a mother of three, and was last working as the executive director of the Fruit Belt Community Land Trust.
“I think that my record as a community member speaks volumes,” she said about why she will be a strong candidate in the race.
Walton will square off against 19-year old Scott Wilson as well as likely face four-term incumbent Byron Brown in the race.
He’s widely expected to go for a record-breaking fifth term in office but has yet to announce.
Walton said people are running out of time to find a strong candidate and make a decision.
“Because we live in a majority Democratic city, this race is going to be decided in the primary in June. So, we can’t withhold our vote until November.”
In addition to political education, Walton said her biggest challenge will be a lack of name recognition.
“Buffalo is a place where it’s about who you know,” she said. “Change takes a long time and a lot of patience and you have to continue to fight and you can’t get discouraged.
People are satisfied with the status quo and you have to keep on pushing.”
Walton’s campaign website lists fiscal responsibility, affordable housing, and public health as her top priorities, but she said people are really pushing for her to create changes in policing in the City of Buffalo, as well.
Walton, who grew up in Buffalo and attended Buffalo Public Schools, thinks her understanding of the city will be what convinces voters to elect her to office.
“I think you need a person in power who has the same concerns and worries as everyday people. That’s going to be my focus is taking care of everyday people. It’s tough to have a government that’s supposed to represent you that can’t identify with what your struggles are.”
And as for the timing, she said — it all just came together.
“My children are old enough. The political climate is ripe. Black women are killing it — in media, in politics, in all facets. The fact of the matter is we’ve been killing it all along, now is just the time that it’s being recognized and we’re being pushed into pursuing bigger goals.”