Democrats back Dabney, Wray, Town for City Court
Erie County Democrats last night endorsed Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown for an unprecedented fifth term.
Brown has served as 62nd Mayor of the state’s second-largest city since 2006. If elected in November he will break the record set by Jimmy Griffin, whose four terms extended from the late ‘70s to the early ‘90s.
Brown, a former Common Council member and State Senator, is the city’s first African-American chief executive and has overseen a Buffalo rebirth reversing a generation of painful job and population losses. A city once a symbol of Rust Belt decline is now a destination for hi-tech businesses and millennials.
“Leading our great City through an unprecedented period of growth and transformation has been an honor and a privilege,” Mayor Brown said.
“Over the last year, our progress became most evident in the resilience we have shown in these challenging times, and over the next four years we will continue to work for equity, inclusion, progress, and opportunity for everyone in the City of Buffalo.”
“I am grateful for the Erie County Democratic Committee’s endorsement, and their support for this historic opportunity to continue to work on behalf of every community across the City of Buffalo for a fifth term as Mayor.”
“Beginning with his 2006 inaugural day visit to the city’s waterfront, Mayor Brown has had an optimism about Buffalo’s future that very few shared when he first took office,” said Democratic Chair Jeremy J. Zellner. “His hand has been in every decision leading to the resurgence of the city and Western New York, and he has clearly earned the support of its residents and of this committee.”
“At a time when our party has never been more united, diverse, and inclusive, and following our great successes of 2020, we are excited to stand with Mayor Brown and to help him fulfill the promise of a better future the people of Buffalo want and deserve,” Zellner said.
Brown represented the Masten District on Buffalo City Council from 1996 to 2001, when he became the first black State Senator outside of New York City. He remained in the Senate until winning the Mayor’s seat in 2005, and has made economic growth, public safety, and social justice the cornerstones of his administration.
He and his wife, Michelle, have a son, Byron II.
Democrats also endorsed three candidates for Buffalo City Court Judge – incumbent judges Phillip Dabney, Jr. and Diane Wray, and Buffalo attorney Rebecca Town.
Dabney was appointed to fill the vacancy created by last year’s election of Amy Martoche to State Supreme Court. He has been an attorney in the Buffalo area for more than 15 years and is former counsel for the city’s Municipal Housing Authority.
Dabney (https://www.facebook.com/Dabney4Buffalo/) is a lifelong resident of Buffalo with degrees from Canisius College and the UB School of Law.
Wray, first elected in 2011, earned her law degree at UB in 1983 and graduated from SUNY at Buffalo in 1980. She was a partner at the firm of Hughes and Wray from 2004 to 2011, an adjunct professor of law at UB from 1998 to 2005, and a mediator/arbitrator for the state court system’s settlement center from 1996 to 2005.
Town serves with the Criminal Defense Unit of the Legal Aid Bureau, where she has worked since 2010. She currently co-chairs the Criminal Law Committee of the Women’s Bar Association of Western New York and sits on the Erie County Board of Ethics. She is a 2009 graduate of the UB School of Law and earned her bachelor’s degree in 2003 from SUNY at Buffalo.
A New York Civil Liberties Union board member, Town has become a national voice for criminal justice reforms, focusing on issues regarding bail and the Sixth Amendment guarantee of a speedy trial.