Bernie Tolbert, a Buffalo native, former executive for both the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National Basketball Association (NBA) and candidate for the office of Mayor of Buffalo, today announced final numbers for his petition drive and fundraising efforts.

According to Tolbert, both efforts were highly successful.

“In submitting petitions for the upcoming Democratic Primary, our volunteers were able to secure almost four times the signatures required.  Additionally, the financial filings show that my campaign is more than 2/3s of the way toward our fundraising goal.” Tolbert said.  “These goals have been exceeded without political backing or party support, solely through the efforts of my family, friends, neighbors and community-wide volunteers.  With these numbers verified and reported, there is no doubt that my candidacy presents a strong primary bid.”

Tolbert announced his mayoral candidacy in early May running on a platform of, “A Better Choice”.  The campaign is founded on Tolbert’s devotion to Buffalo as his hometown, and his deep desire to combat the current city issues of high crime, substandard education and economic decline.

“I have been out in the community knocking on doors and attending events, sharing my vision for a Better Buffalo,” Tolbert said.  “Obviously, based on my petition and fundraising numbers, people in this city are hearing my message and responding to my ideas for better choices for this community.

More information about the Tolbert for Mayor Campaign is available on the Friend s of Tolbert Facebook page (


ABOUT BERNIE TOLBERT:  Bernie Tolbert is a Buffalo native and attended Elementary Schools 31, 6 and 76. After graduation from Lafayette High School he attended the State University of New York at Buffalo where he received his Bachelor’s Degree in 1971 and a Master’s Degree in Social Work in 1973. In January 1980, Bernie began duty as a Special Agent in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). After graduating from the FBI Training Academy in Quantico, Virginia, Bernie served for two decades in commended supervisory roles in Buffalo, New York, Washington, DC, and Philadelphia, retiring as the Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the Buffalo Division.  Following security management roles for the Coca-Cola Company and HSBC Bank, in 2002 Bernie was appointed Vice President in charge of Security of the National Basketball Association and later became Senior Vice President of NBA Security, a title he held until his retirement in 2010.


Bernie has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Black Achievers in Industry Award (twice), the Heroes of Public Housing Award, the Ebony and Ivory Award and the More Than a Month (Black History) Award presented by HBO in Philadelphia. In 2012 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award presented at the Men of Integrity Awards Dinner in Buffalo. In June of 2001, Bernie was the recipient of the Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Achievement, which is presented to the top Senior Executives in U.S. Government Agencies. In 1988, Bernie was elected to the SUNY at Buffalo Athletic Hall of Fame and is also a member of the Lafayette High School Wall of Fame in honor of his achievements and contributions to the Buffalo and Western New York community. Bernie has been active in WNY community organizations for many years including an association that spans more than 50 years with Cradle Beach.  He has served on a number of local community boards, some of which include the United Way, Western New York Public Broadcasting, Erie County Youth Board, Medaille College, The Olmstead Conservancy, The 100 Club of Buffalo and Western New York and the Ellicott District Coalition of Agencies. He is currently on the board of Directors for the University of Buffalo Alumni Association, The National Federation for Just Communities, The Wisteria Initiative, The Willie Hutch Jones Educational and Sports Program and is a Trustee of the Statler Foundation.  Bernie is the father of three adult children who all reside in Buffalo. He and his wife reside in the City of Buffalo.