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Erie County Board of Elections appeals Mayor Byron Brown's federal court win

Thomas O'Neil-White
Erie County Board of Elections Commissioners Ralph Mohr (right) and Jeremy Zellner.

Incumbent Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown’s quest for another term has hit another roadblock as the Erie County Board of Elections has decided to appeal Friday’s Federal Court ruling putting Brown on the Independent line on November’s ballot.

The Federal Court’s ruling drew criticism from Democratic primary winner India Walton and others due to Judge John Sinatra’s brother Nick, having financial ties to Brown. Sinatra refused to recuse himself.

With its appeal, Board of Election Republican Commissioner Ralph Mohr said the board cannot stand idly by on an election which has perceived different rules for different candidates.

“By taking no action and leaving the prosecution of an appeal solely to the affected candidate,” he said. “The Erie County Board of Elections would be acquiescent to the public perception that this race is being conducted under two separate set of rules.”

Mohr said a vote of “No” would help to undermine public confidence in elections for years to come.

“This is the precedent that would be set for future boards of elections that would give a green light to candidates with sufficient resources and financial means to challenge any date contained in the political calendar. This would be administratively untenable,” he said.

Earlier Tuesday, Walton officially filed a notice of appeal to the U-S Court of Appeals.

Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Thomas moved to Western New York at the age of 14. A graduate of Buffalo State College, he majored in Communications Studies and was part of the sports staff for WBNY. When not following his beloved University of Kentucky Wildcats and Boston Red Sox, Thomas enjoys coaching youth basketball, reading Tolkien novels and seeing live music.
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