Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., meets with reporters before a key test vote on the For the People Act, a sweeping bill that would overhaul the election system and voting rights, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, June 22, 2021. The bill is a top priority for Democrats seeking to ensure access to the polls and mail in ballots, but it is opposed by Republicans as a federal overreach. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has endorsed India Walton, a self described socialist, for mayor of Buffalo.
“Today, I endorse @indiawaltonbflo, the Democratic nominee for Mayor of Buffalo,” the New York Democrat tweeted Thursday. “She’s a community leader, nurse, & mother with a clear progressive vision for her hometown. Dems are at our best when we build a big tent & forge inclusive coalitions to fight for everyday people.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of N.Y., speaks to the media after a Democratic policy luncheon, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Walton, who defeated Buffalo’s Democratic incumbent mayor this summer and is on the ballot to be mayor in a November 2 election, has been endorsed by the Democratic Socialists of America and is a vocal proponent of defunding the police.
Progressive Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is scheduled to participate in a rally with Walton this weekend.
UNITED STATES – JULY 1: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., talks with a reporter as she walks down the House steps after the last votes of the week in Washington on Thursday, July 1, 2021. (Photo by Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images) ( (Photo by Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images))
Walton is all but assured to win the general election in November. There is no Republican candidate in the race.
Asked by reporters during the primary race if she identified as a socialist, she said, “Oh absolutely.”
“I’m just excited to be a part of this movement that is ushering progressive politics into Buffalo,” she told reporters. “Being the third-poorest mid-sized city in this country, we should be considering how we begin to eradicate concentrated poverty and disadvantage, and Democratic socialist leanings are a big step in getting us there.”
Democratic Buffalo mayoral primary candidate India Walton reacts when her supporters tell her with 94% of the vote in that she’s going to be the winner against Byron Brown, Tuesday, June 22, 2021 in Buffalo, N.Y. (Robert Kirkham/Buffalo News)
Buffalo’s current mayor, Democrat Byron Brown, was defeated by Walton in the primary but has launched a write-in campaign that most experts believe will fail and has been challenged legally.
If elected, Walton will become the first female mayor in Buffalo’s history.
Associated Press contributed to this report