BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Western New Yorkers are heading to the polls Tuesday for Primary Day voting, and one race to watch is the one for Buffalo’s mayor.
Three Democrats are facing each other for the chance to appear on the November ballot. Incumbent Mayor Byron Brown is taking on City Comptroller Mark Schroeder and Erie County Legislator Betty Jean Grant in this race.
Voter turnout is typically pretty low on Primary Day, so each ballot cast could make a difference in the outcome of this election.
“Today is the voters’ day,” said Brown after casting his ballot in the Canisius College Student Center early Tuesday morning. “I am just asking every voter for their support. It has been an honor to serve as mayor.”
Brown is hoping to continue serving for another four years. If re-elected, he would be come Buffalo’s second ever four-term mayor. He and his family have been hitting the campaign trail hard to convince voters to give him that chance.
“I’ve been crisscrossing the city, campaigning very hard, talking about the progress that we’ve made together in the city of Buffalo and the continued progress that we will make if we stay together,” Brown told News 4.
“I know a lot of people are very grateful for downtown development and waterfront development, but the neighborhoods need help,” countered challenger Mark Schroeder after casting his own ballot Tuesday.
Schroeder, who is also running on the Reform Party ticket in the Primary Election, has been campaigning on a platform of boosting neighborhood development and creating safer streets. He’s been meeting with voters for month to try to spread the message about his goals.
“For the last 120 days, I’ve walked door to door in every single neighborhood in the city of Buffalo and I am better for it. I see first hand what has happened in our neighborhoods, and this is the reason I am running for mayor,” Schroeder said. “I am extremely confident that we will win today.”
Not if Betty Jean Grant has anything to say about. She was proud to vote for herself as mayor when she cast her ballot at the Kensington-Bailey Neighborhood Housing building Tuesday morning.
“If I win, I’ll be the first female mayor of the city of Buffalo,” Grant said. “To circle that dot for women in Buffalo, I thought was a great event, a great movement, because we’ve got to be part of government.”
Grant says she brings plenty of experience – as a county legislator, former school board member, and a small business owner – to the table as a mayoral candidate.
“I feel very confident,” Grant told News 4. “Never give up. Wait until the last vote is counted, and then you evaluate.”
Polls stay open until 9 p.m. Tuesday.