The next mayor of Buffalo, New York, will be a self-described socialist.
India Walton, a 38-year-old nurse and political newcomer, is on track to handily defeat long-term incumbent Byron Brown in the Democratic primary.
“Mommy, I won. Mommy, I’m the mayor of Buffalo!” she said in a clip of a phone call shared online after results came in late Tuesday.
Her victory was a big defeat for the New York political establishment and a boon for progressives who’ve made a lot of noise but struggled to gain traction in the New York City mayor’s race and other contests.
Republicans didn’t field a candidate in Buffalo, and CNN reported Ms. Walton will be the first socialist mayor of a big American city since Milwaukee’s Frank P. Zeidler left office in 1960.
“If you are in an elected office right now, you are being put on notice. We are coming,” Ms. Walton said late Tuesday.
She told CNN that her goal is to put resources into neighborhoods and “govern in a deeply democratic way that the people who are governed have say over the decision-making process and how resources are deployed in our community.”
Mr. Brown, 62, was criticized for failing to campaign aggressively and declining to debate Ms. Walton.
He declined to concede right away, saying the race remains “too close to call” as absentee votes are counted despite trailing, 52%-45%, with 94% of the vote tabulated.