Political newcomer India B. Walton pulled a stunning upset, defeating four-time incumbent Byron Brown in Buffalo's mayoral primary. The city leans heavily Democratic; without a Republican set to run in the November general election it is all but certain that Walton will become the first socialist to run a major American city in six decades. One of six children, Walton had her first child at age 14 and took up her first job at a fast-food outlet. She gained her GED five years later while giving birth to premature twins.
Walton learned medical jargon during her maternal experiences and used the experience to eventually earn a nursing degree, she ultimately worked in the same NICU unit where her sons were cared for. Politically active since age 12, she protested Rockerfeller Drug Laws and later became a union representative for 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East. More recently Walton was involved in Black Lives Matter protests last summer and condemned Mayor Brown's response after two police officers kicked a 75-year old man to the ground. Those supporting Walton through her campaign included Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. For 38 years in the early to mid-20th century, Milwaukee was led by three socialist mayors - the last being Frank Zeidler who stepped down in 1960. It will be no surprise to see more major cities turn socialist in the mayoral choices going forward.