What’s next for India Walton?
It was a disappointing end to a historic mayoral run for Democratic nominee India Walton on Tuesday night, as incumbent Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown appeared to earn a victory with nearly 60% of the vote being write-ins.
Walton, who has received 41.1% of the vote, has said she will not concede until every vote is counted, despite what looks like Brown’s insurmountable lead.
Assuming hand counting of the write-in ballots confirms Brown’s victory, what is next for Walton? It’s never too early to speculate.
Political pundit and blogger Ken Kruly believes Walton, whose upset victory in the Democratic primary and mayoral run made national headlines, will continue to be active in local politics.
“They’ll be council races in a couple of years, there's a Democratic Committee fights, perhaps next year,” he said. “Who knows?”
Former Erie County official Warren Galloway, a Republican, said the political capital the 38-year-old Walton gained could be useful for the local progressive movement moving forward.
“I think you're going to see them run candidates for the school board next year. I think you'll see them start looking at other city council races that they could go after,” he said. “Because what are the secrets of the progressive movement with inside the Democratic Party? They look at areas where they think it's going to be a low turnout when then they get their votes out.”
Former Common Council member Betty Jean Grant said the impact of Walton’s campaign goes far beyond politics.
“To me it shows that if you work hard, do the right thing, follow the law and be concerned about your community and to stand by everybody, have an equitable chair and Buffalo everyone be treated equally, everyone has an opportunity,” she said. “I think it teaches those girls who are sitting on the east side in abject poverty who see no way out, who can't see the future for themselves, I think she gave them the inspiration and the will to dream.”
By the way these politicos tell it, Walton will continue to influence local politics for years to come.