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County Democrats endorse Brown for mayor

WBFO News photo by Mike Desmond

There was Democratic amity last night, as the party's Executive Committee overwhelmingly endorsed Mayor Byron Brown for another term.

Four years ago, the mayor didn't ask for party endorsement and Democrats decided not to endorse anyone. Since then, there has been a change at the top with Jeremy Zellner replacing Len Lenihan as chairman. The new party leader has been working to establish a better relationship with the mayor.

This time, the party interviewed both the mayor and primary challenger Bernie Tolbert and chose the veteran incumbent.

"Under Mayor Brown's leadership, Buffalo is moving in the right direction. The city's credit rating is the highest in its history and property and commercial taxes have been lowered. Most importantly, the City of Buffalo is enjoying over than $1.7 billion economic development investment underway. Not to mention the Buffalo Billion pledged by the governor. The waterfront looks good and is improving every day," Zellner said.

While there are some suburbanites on the Executive Committee, most of the voters last night were from the city. The vote ties together the Brown campaign team and the county organization, providing many foot soldiers for the campaign fight both for September and for November when Republican Sergio Rodriguez will be on the ballot.

Having Brown likely leading the ticket in November against a challenge from Rodriguez could bring more city Democrats to the polls and help the chances  of Democratic candidates in county-wide races for comptroller and sheriff.

Democrats also endorsed two incumbent city judge candidates for another term: Judges Debra Givens and Kevin Keane.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.
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