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As deadline looms, candidates for Buffalo mayor's race begin filing petitions

The two marquee candidates for Buffalo mayor filed nominating petitions on Wednesday with the Erie County Board of Elections, one day ahead of the deadline.

How many more will join them?

Byron W. Brown appeared in person at the elections' office to submit his petitions with 15,000 signatures as he attempts to win a fourth term as mayor.

Buffalo City Comptroller Mark J.F. Schroeder appeared later in the afternoon to submit his petitions with approximately 5,800 signatures.

Yet three other candidates have said they will attempt to win the mayor's seat — Erie County Legislator Betty Jean Grant, Buffalo Preservation Board Member Terrence A. Robinson and community activist Taniqua Simmons.

In addition, there appeared to be a mysterious candidate in the race, at least for now.

A woman named Mary J. Carroll filed her petition Tuesday on the Republican line, but it was not immediately apparent who she is. Officials with the Erie County Republican Committee did not return calls seeking comment.

Ralph M. Mohr, the Republican county elections commissioner, said he was not familiar with Carroll. Carroll, who had an address listed on Wilbury Place, submitted about 700 signatures.

Brown and Schroeder said they received support from all over the city.

Brown's signatures came from each of the nine Council Districts, he said.

"This is more evidence that the residents of Buffalo are pleased and excited about the growth and progress that has resulted from my leadership as mayor," Brown said, adding that most of the signatures were acquired door-to-door.

"These are good, clean petitions," he said.

Schroeder said his signatures of support were acquired from every part of the city.

"It's not always easy to gather signatures when you're challenging a 12-year incumbent, but the amount of support we have received was overwhelming," Schroeder said. "Over the past 37 days, we averaged about 150 signatures per day."

Now the wait is on to see if Grant, Robinson and Simmons will file their petitions by the deadline.

A powerful force in East Side politics, Grant has been an Erie County legislator since 2007 and is a member of We are Women Warriors, a community and family empowerment group founded in 2012.

Robinson is a founding member of Preservation Buffalo Niagara. He plans to run on the Green Party line for Buffalo mayor and describes his political agenda as “neo-progressive.”

Simmons is the endorsed candidate of the Libertarian party. She is a Buffalo native who grew up on Bissell Avenue and East Ferry Street and currently lives on Humboldt Parkway.

Thursday is the filing deadline for the race.

Candidates have until 5 p.m. to submit their petitions in person at the West Eagle Street election office location. Petitions may also be postmarked by midnight on Thursday.

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