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5 election takeaways: Byron Brown is first incumbent to lose mayor's office since '61
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5 election takeaways: Byron Brown is first incumbent to lose mayor's office since '61

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Byron Brown

Mayor Byron Brown along with his wife, Michelle, walk to the stage to speak at his headquarters on Tuesday, June 22, 2021. 

Five highlights of the Tuesday Democratic primary that appears to have elected India B. Walton as the next mayor of Buffalo:

• 21,469 Democrats voted in Tuesday's primary election. 11,132 voted for apparent winner Walton. That means the new mayor takes office in January as a result of 20% backing by the city's Democrats, and about 14% of the city's registered voters.

• It appears the only way four-term incumbent Democrat Byron W. Brown, over whom Walton has claimed victory, can compete in November is through a write-in campaign. He has not filed for any minor party line, and the deadline has passed for running on an established line like Republican.

• Republicans, a tiny band of only 14,553 voters in the City of Buffalo, opted not to field a candidate this year. They now miss out on a potential opportunity for one of their own to challenge a Democratic nominee who considers herself a socialist.

• Brown becomes the first incumbent to lose the mayor's office since Democrat Frank A. Sedita in 1961, who lost to Chester Kowal – the last Republican to occupy the big, mayoral office on City Hall's second floor.

• "Shelf life" – the term insiders use to describe the time politicians are deemed electable before they wear out their welcome, may have contributed to Brown's defeat on Tuesday. Barring a November victory via an uphill write-in campaign, Brown will not win an unprecedented fifth term as mayor of New York's second largest city. Only Brown and the late James D. Griffin have won four terms as mayor.

India Walton delivers victory speech at Poize nightclub in Buffalo, N.Y., on June 22, 2021.

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