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Brown Wins Democratic Mayoral Primary

By Eileen Buckley

Buffalo, NY – State Senator Byron Brown emerged the winner in Tuesday night's Democratic primary for mayor, defeating Kevin Gaughan. Brown could be on his way to becoming Buffalo's first African-American mayor. But he lost on the Conservative and Independence lines.

There were some very high hopes just after the polls closed Tuesday night at Kevin Gaughan's campaign headquarters. Gaughan and his supporters chanted "September surprise" as early returns had Gaughan trailing Brown by just a few percentage points. Gaughan says the numbers indicated that some citizens had enough of the discontent and are looking for change in government.

But later Gaughan dipped behind Brown, and by 10:30 last night he conceded, while Brown declared a Democratic victory.

"It's official. We did it," Brown declared to an enthusiastic crowd of supporters at a downtown restaurant. "The voters in the Democratic primary in the city of Buffalo spoke loud and clear. They want change and we're going to give them the change that they want."

Brown promised supporters that if elected mayor, he would take Buffalo to new heights, by generating more jobs and creating a better climate for business.

Gaughan walked from his Delaware Avenue headquarters to Brown's party at D'Arcy McGee's on Franklin Street to congratulate him. The two men stood on the sidewalk, asked for privacy from the media and shook hands. But it wasn't a total victory dance for Brown. He was defeated in the Conservative race against Republican Kevin Helfer, who was a write-in candidate.

"People did write us in. We did extremely well tonight," Helfer said. "That's a loud and clear message people are sending."

Brown also lost on the Independence line against Charles Flynn.