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Putting politics aside

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

As Buffalo's mayoral race begins to take shape -- there was an usual pairing on the steps of City Hall Monday.  A rally against child abuse brought out citizens, politicians and candidates. WBFO'S Eileen Buckley reports that standing near one another was incumbent Mayor  Byron Brown and declared candidate for mayor Sergio Rodriguez.

"We have to put our differences aside and find our common ground and work together, so it is good that we are standing together," said Rodriguez.

Rodriguez was seen standing to the left of Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz as they faced out of Niagara Square.  To Poloncarz's right was Mayor Brown. 

WBFO News asked Rodriguez if it seemed odd to stand near the mayor, his opponent.

Credit WBFO News photos by Eileen Buckley
Mayor Brown, County Executive Poloncarz & Sergio Rodriguez

"Well I think the leadership, standing here and support of such a great cause, which is to prevent child abuse and neglect  -- I think we can all come together and put the politics aside," said Rodriguez.

Rodriguez said his campaign was made aware of the event--so he joined in. 

"So we decided to participate and march along side with them and support this cause.  Especially minority communities, this is a big big problem," said Rodriguez.

Mayor Brown downplayed his opponents appearance.

WBFO News asked Brown if it was awkward to stand with Rodriguez.

"You know it's never awkward.  I attend dozen of events every week.  So many of them good causes," said Brown. "This cause, to prevent child abuse...this was a powerful rally."

Now neither really had any crowd advantage.  Both had the opportunity to greet citizens. 

Credit WBFO News photos by Eileen Buckley
Mayoral candidate Sergio Rodriguez stands next to County Executive Poloncarz on the steps of City Hall

But mid-way through the rally, the mayor stepped over to a young boy who was abused by his own father to speak with his family.  Immediately a Buffalo News photographer and a city hall photographer quickly snapped photos. Rodriguez stayed in his positions listening to rally speakers. 

Rodriguez says it's not the first time, since announcing a run, that he has appeared at an event with Brown. Rodriguez says they both attended the opening of the West Side Bazaar and exchanged pleasantries.

The Mayor indicated they've remained cordial.