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'Shock to the political establishment:' Local reaction to India Walton's victory

India Walton speaks to media
Ryan Zunner/WBFO News
India Walton speaks to the media Tuesday night following her apparent victory in the Democratic primary for Buffalo mayor.

India Walton’s name is making national headlines after her surprise Democratic Primary victory over incumbent Buffalo Mayor Byron on Tuesday.

University at Buffalo Professor and Urban Director Dr. Henry Louis Taylor said Walton’s victory came as a shock to the city’s political establishment.

“I would say it's a quadruple shot to political system,” he said. “I don't think anybody took India Walton seriously. And I think they thought that their power was forever.”

Having previously served on one of Brown’s committees and raised money for his campaigns, Taylor believed a disconnect arose between Brown and communities which had supported him for years.

Major improvements to housing and infrastructure in underserved neighborhoods were issues Taylor said Brown wasn’t fully invested in.

Issues Walton made centerpieces of her campaign.

“Walton was well established in the Fruit Belt community,” he said. “Well established had a job had work, etcetera. But like a lot of people close to the ground, she knew that the time for change was now. We could see it all over the place that people were hungry for bold, new leadership.”

And bold, new leadership is what Democratic voters went to the polls for on Tuesday.

Updated: June 23, 2021 at 5:17 PM EDT