BUFFALO, N.Y. — At the time this story was posted, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown had not conceded the Democratic primary contest, which it appears challenger India Walton won in an upset.
Brown had also not made a public appearance that 2 On Your Side is aware of, or released any kind of statement about what he and his campaign will do next.
Without a ballot spot on any of the minor parties, it appears the current mayor’s only viable option is a long shot: a write-in campaign.
“Write-in elections are pretty difficult and very rare,” says Ken Kruly, whose Politics and Other Stuff website is a regular read for many area political junkies.
Kruly says within Brown’s inner-circle of advisors, a write-in campaign is “probably a conversation going on right now. I think that it would be silly not to consider it.”
There is no confirmation from the Brown campaign that a write-in effort is being talked about, but Kruly says there are resources at the mayor’s disposal.
“They raised a ton of money over the last 10 days to two weeks, so they could finance the thing,” Kruly said.
Time is also in Brown’s favor. It’s over four months until Election Day, and it would likely take considerable time and effort to explain to thousands of Buffalo voters how to properly cast a write-in ballot.
Kruly also says, “There’s a lot of folks who are likely to be out of a job in City Hall if things don’t work out differently, and so there is a built-in work force to work on it.”
But victories in large-scale, write-in campaigns are rare. In 2010, U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski lost the Alaskan Republican primary to Joe Miller. Murkowski won the general election as a write-in candidate.
In Ohio in 2006, endorsed Democrat Charlie Wilson was knocked off the primary ballot after irregularities with his candidacy petitions. But Wilson continued with a write-in effort and collected over 44,000 votes and defeated two other Democrats who appeared on the ballot. Will would go on to with the 6th District seat, defeating Chuck Blasdel in the general election.