A socialist is poised to become mayor of a major US city. Is it a movement or a blip?

India Walton, 38, defeated a four-term incumbent in Tuesday's Democratic mayoral primary in Buffalo, New York. Is she part of a movement, or just a blip?

6/25/2021 9:22:00 AM

After defeating the four-term Democratic mayor of Buffalo in Tuesday's primary, 38-year-old India Walton is poised to become not only the first woman mayor of New York's second largest city, but the first socialist mayor of a major U.S. city in decades.

India Walton, 38, defeated a four-term incumbent in Tuesday's Democratic mayoral primary in Buffalo, New York. Is she part of a movement, or just a blip?

Scott Eisen/Getty Images, FILEDemocratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders delivers a campaign update at the Hotel Vermont on March 11, 2020, in Burlington, Vt.And the DSA doesn't do"paper endorsements," Kutalik Cauthern said."If we endorse someone, we go in ... we mobilize. Our main strength is our ground forces."

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Republicans nationally seek to weaponize the"socialist" label against all Democrats, regardless of how progressive their policies are, but while the win-rate for DSA-backed candidates and referendums is good given how new the movement is, overall, it's pretty low and the wins garnering the most national attention have been in solidly blue jurisdictions.

"The very fact that people who are openly identifying with democratic socialism are winning elections is relatively new for the recent period in the United States. So in that sense, it is significant," said Sheri Berman, a political science professor at Barnard College with expertise in the history of the left. headtopics.com

MORE: Democratic Socialist surge sparks dissent on left over electoral strategyIn many cases, Berman added, these candidates are not just running against an establishment candidate, but are making anti-establishment arguments central to their campaigns. But when the areas they are running in are reliably Democratic, like Ocasio-Cortez in the Bronx, the question, according to Berman, is,"Is this something that has an appeal or an impact outside of areas that were going to be run by relatively progressive Democrats anyway?"

"Thus far, that's not what we've seen," she said.But while Berman told ABC News there hasn't been a"major realignment in the electorate," she said that the more democratic socialists are elected to office,"the more the Democratic Party has to take account of that."

"We've seen that already ... Sanders clearly was part of the reason why the Democratic Party moved to the left in 2020. We can see the influence of further left candidates in pressuring the Democrats to advocate for certain kinds of policies," she said.

Gabrielle Lurie/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty ImagesAJ Acosta and Will Shattuc chat behind the East Bay Democratic Socialists of America table during the Defend Our Democracy: Count Every Vote event held at Frank Ogawa Plaza in Oakland, Calif., Nov. 4, 2020. headtopics.com

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Down-ballot, DSA-backed candidates are also making inroads.In Montana last November, a DSA-endorsed Democrat won a seat in the State House. In runoff elections earlier this month, two DSA-backed candidates ousted two members of the San Antonio City Council. In Rochester, New York, Tuesday, two local DSA-backed candidates won at-large seats on the five-person City Council, leading the organization to

declare,"Rochester is part of tonight's socialist wave!"And in Somerville, Massachusetts, a progressive city that backed Sanders for president in 2016 and home-state Sen. Elizabeth Warren in 2020, the Boston DSA endorsed seven candidates for city council, including two democratic socialists who are already on the council.

Spencer Brown, co-chair of the Boston DSA, said that at the local level, voters are passionate about issues DSA-backed candidates advocate for, like affordable housing and working public transportation. He said that electing more democratic socialists to local office helps ignite the debates about these issues.

MORE: Progressives look for AOC-style upset in NY primary against House committee chairman"It's obviously much easier for -- for lack of a better term -- an insurgent movement or movement outside of the traditional establishment to begin to capture power at the local level. ... That's the place where a small but significant group of activists can make the biggest difference," Berman, the Barnard professor, said, comparing it to the conservative tea party movement years ago. headtopics.com

While Berman believes that candidates openly identifying as democratic socialists, as opposed to just advocating for the policies without attaching oneself to that label, gives Republicans"something concrete" to point to to say that balance of power in the Democratic Party is far-left.

Brown sees it differently, telling ABC News that he thinks the GOP's yearslong focus on branding"everything socialist," has made the label less scary to most Americans but also led to a lot of confusion -- and therein lies the opportunity for democratic socialists.

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"It creates the space for us actual democratic socialists who believe, not just that we need to expand democracy in the political sphere, but that we need to bring those same principles into the economic sphere. It's allowing us to really put forward our kind of bold ideas for how we can make this a better country for working people," Brown said."They're being taken seriously. ... These are ideas are popular."

Read more: ABC News »

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we are in big trouble……voters are destroying us. Have fun buffalo Sorry New York. U get wat u pay for. Don’t cry when ur city is overrun by more criminal activity than usual n ur totally lawless. WOW-:))👍😊 Welfare recipients will be happy! Free everything for everybody, pure white people that have to pay for it!

We'll watch and read I call bullshit. There's no such thing as a socialist in the VBNMW machine Watch Buffalo go down in flames. I hope I’m wrong, but I doubt it. Socialism is a failed ideology. One many men and women fought to protect us against. It’s so sad to see this. Wow AdonicaSS!! If only Americans were as concerned about legitimate, nationwide problems as they are about a mayoral candidate of Buffalo...

India Walton Poised To Become Buffalo’s First Socialist MayorWalton, who would also be the city’s first female mayor, ran on police accountability and addressing poverty in one of the country’s poorest cities. For all those who are new to this working from home Bitcoin trading options Here's a little tip: Get a trusted Bitcoin expert and stick to her Lucille61040 Invest and play at similar times each day. Because : In times of chaos, your investment is your anchor to success For all those who are new to this working from home Bitcoin trading options Here's a little tip: Get a trusted Bitcoin expert and stick to him RonelMoses32 Invest and play at similar times each day. Because : In times of chaos, your investment is your anchor to success⚖️ I’m glad I don’t live in Buffalo...

What a relief! ABC has finally reported about a person without highlighting the person's skin colour. Well done ABC. You are growing in maturity, fairness and respect.! Good luck to her. I am not holding my breath. Good on her. Good on Buffalo. Now can we have more of this, maybe & especially in Texas? Soon I hope.

basedsouthern basedsouthern Is she a good candidate. I can almost hear the Fox news propoganda machine whining into action. I’m a refugee from a Marxist country. My family suffered generations of brutal persecution. It’s stunning that these assholes think socialism is cool. bad news doy aquí en me de la gana así es lo que hay hemos donado mucho en ayudar pero nadie se dio cuenta turismo europeo asiáticos Estados Unidos sudaneticano norteamericanos africanos marroquíes de de todos música de todo

Im going to donate to her opponent, and dig for oppo on her

India Walton Poised to Become First Socialist Mayor of a Major American City in 60 Years“The entire intent of this campaign is to draw down power and resources to the ground level, to the hands of the people,” said Walton.

'What is rightfully ours': Socialist candidate India Walton upsets incumbent Democratic mayor of BuffaloIndia Walton, a nurse and progressive activist, upset four-term incumbent Byron Brown in Tuesday’s Democratic primary in Buffalo, N.Y., in a bid to become the first socialist mayor of a major American city since 1960.

‘We organized and we won’: Socialist India B. Walton on her shocking victory in BuffaloIndia B. Walton speaks about her surprising win against incumbent Byron Brown in the mayoral primary in Buffalo, N.Y. If she wins the general election in the historically blue city, she will be the first Socialist mayor in the United States in half a century. Socialist? beware the cross of care, love, and hope Geez, how bad was the incumbent that the nominated a socialist? He must of been horrific!

India Walton Is the Latest Democratic Socialist Election Success StoryThis democratic socialist’s win in the Buffalo election is huge.

India Walton will defeat four-term incumbent in Buffalo mayoral primary, CNN projectsIndia Walton, a self-professed socialist and political newcomer, will defeat four-term incumbent Byron Brown in the Democratic primary for mayor of Buffalo, New York, CNN projected Wednesday. *me in the comments watching all the white people who don't live in Buffalo getting mad* Black socialist 😂 Congratulations!!!