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India Walton challenges Byron Brown to mayoral debate

India Walton challenges Byron Brown to mayoral debate

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The low-key Democratic primary for Buffalo mayor may get a jolt of energy if challenger India B. Walton succeeds in arranging a debate against incumbent Byron W. Brown.

Walton, a vocal critic of various city policies, has qualified for the June 22 Democratic primary along with Lacandice Durham. In a Friday letter to Brown, Walton challenged him to a debate on a "public stage." She did not, however, offer details such as when, where or a sponsor for the event.

Still, she set out her goals for a debate as well as a clear challenge to the mayor.

"Are you willing to stand before the people of Buffalo and offer your vision for the city alongside mine?" she asked Brown in her letter. "And if not, the question you need to ask yourself is, are you fit to lead a community whose call you won't answer."

Walton also mentioned several cases involving controversial arrests by the Buffalo Police Department as topics for discussion.

"Buffalo residents deserve leaders who will answer the tough questions, and take bold action to solve systemic problems," she said. "We deserve much better than the silence that has come from City Hall, while our neighborhoods continue to suffer from issues long unaddressed."

Walton did not mention Durham's potential participation, nor any other details such as format. But she asked Brown to convey his intentions by Tuesday.

Brown's campaign issued a statement late Friday that did not specifically address Walton's debate challenge.

"Mayor Brown has always welcomed the opportunity to publicly discuss the issues that are important to the residents of the City of Buffalo," the statement said. "It is what he does every day. Ms. Walton's mischaracterizations notwithstanding, Mayor Brown has always been forthcoming and transparent on where he stands on every issue, ensuring that the public can fairly and objectively decide for themselves who best represents all of the members of our community."

The Buffalo News: Good Morning, Buffalo

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