Chuck Schumer Endorses Socialist India Walton in Heated Buffalo Mayoral Race

Senator Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D.New York) has endorsed India Walton as the Democratic candidate for mayor of Buffalo. The election day is in less than two weeks.

“Today, I endorse [India Walton]The Democratic nominee for Mayor of Buffalo is. She’s a community leader, nurse, and mother with a clear progressive vision for her hometown,” wrote SchumerThursday “Dems are at our best when we build a big tent and forge inclusive coalitions to fight for everyday people.”

Walton is a socialist. It is possible to win the Democratic primary for the position in June, the New York state’s Democratic Party establishment has aligned itself against her. Schumer’s endorsement stands in contrast to his state’s party, though it is standard for party leaders to endorse the party’s candidate in significant races.

Schumer appeared to acknowledge shady tactics waged by the state party’s establishment in his endorsement. “India Walton won the Democratic primary fair and square and is the nominee,” he wrote. “Throughout my career, I have worked long, hard, and diligently to bring federal resources to Western New York and I look forward to doing that with India Walton for the betterment of the people of Buffalo.”

Walton celebrated Schumer’s endorsement on Thursday. “I am honoredTo be considered for endorsement [Senator Schumer]. Together, we will beat back these Republican attacks and build the safe, healthy Buffalo we all need and deserve,” she wrote. She continued to highlight other high-profile endorsements, such as those by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I – Vermont) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez(D – New York).

Walton, if elected, would be the first socialist mayor in a major American city. In 60 years.

Perhaps because of this, Walton’s candidacy has been marked with strife due to the state’s party establishment. Democratic New York Governor Kathy Hochul took over after Andrew Cuomo quit in disgrace. has not endorsed or otherwise vocally supportedWalton, important state Democrats like Assembly Majority Lead Crystal Peoples-Stokes or state Chairman Jay Jacobs remain unsupportive.

Jacobs made headlines This week, earlierAfter comparing a hypothetical endorsement for Walton to one for Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke (one of the most hateful and racist living figures in American History), Jacobs apologized. Jacobs later apologized for the comparison — though not until he faced considerable backlash.

The party has also made desperate attempts to block a socialist mayorship. In August, Buffalo’s Common Council explored the possibility of getting rid of the mayoral position entirely after SensationalismAnd fear mongeringSeveral prominent Democrats and local media outlets were taken over.

Byron Brown, the incumbent mayor, is also available. has refused to concedeHis opposition. Despite a court ruling that his name couldn’t appear on the ballot as a third party candidate, Brown has been aggressively pursuing a write-in campaign, Gathering endorsementspowerful unions. Walton has pointed out, some of Brown’s major financial backers are Republican-affiliated real estate developersand GOP dark money organizations.

Walton is still in a strong position. She has the support of several unionsAs well as her support of socialist and national progressive organizations like the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), the Working Families PartyRun For Something. As a result of Brown’s write-in campaign, however, it is still unclearWho will be the winner next month?

Brown’s tenure has been marked byFinancial mismanagement scandal involving government contractors with ties to the mayor’s campaign. The incumbent mayor has toutedThe support of local officers in police, despite critics claiming that they have failed to rein in corruptionThe Buffalo Police Department is responsible for preventing violence.

Walton is still at it. run on a campaignShe promised to improve public safety through the expansion of non-police deescalation resources such as the involvement social workers in mental health outreach, and investments in restorative justice instead of imprisonment. She has also Promised to invest in traditionally marginalized communities like the city’s East Side, which is majority Black.