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2005 Buffalo mayoral election

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

2005 Buffalo mayoral election
Flag of Buffalo, New York.svg

← 2001 November 8, 2005 (2005-11-08) 2009 →
20081021 Byron Brown headshot.jpg
No image.svg
Nominee Byron Brown Kevin J. Helfer
Party Democratic Republican
Alliance Working Families Conservative
Popular vote 46,613 19,853
Percentage 63.79% 27.17%

2005 Buffalo mayoral election results map by city council district.svg
Results by city council district
Brown:      40–50%      50–60%      60–70%
     70–80%      80–90%

Mayor before election

Anthony Masiello

Elected Mayor

Byron Brown

The 2005 Buffalo Mayoral Election took place on November 8, 2005. After incumbent Anthony M. Masiello, a Democrat, announced on April 29, 2005 that he would not seek a fourth term as mayor,[1] a field of several Democratic candidates emerged, from which New York State Senator Byron Brown emerged victorious in the primary election. In the general election, Brown went on to defeat Republican challenger Kevin Helfer, former member of the Buffalo Common Council for the University District, as well as two minor-party candidates. Buffalo's 2005 mayoral election is notable as the first in the city to be won by an African-American candidate.


Democratic primary


In addition to Brown, candidates for the Democratic nomination for Mayor in 2005 included Brown's predecessor as State Senator for the 57th District, Al Coppola, attorney and government reform advocate Kevin Gaughan, restaurateur Steven Calvaneso, neighborhood activist and perennial candidate Judith Einach, and Erie County Democratic Committee member Darnell Jackson.[2] Coppola dropped out of the race early, while the latter two hopefuls were removed from the ballot in August 2005 by the Erie County Board of Elections due to petition irregularities,[3] leading to a three-way contest between Brown, Gaughan and Calvaneso for the Democratic nomination.


The Democratic primary election was held on September 13, 2005. Brown placed first in the polls with 16,900 votes cast, or 60.6% of the total, winning the Democratic nomination. In second place was Gaughan with 9,264 votes (34.5%), and Calvaneso placed third with 1,362 votes (4.9%).[4]

Democratic primary results[5]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Byron W. Brown 16,900 60.60%
Democratic Kevin P. Gaughan 9,624 34.51%
Democratic Steven A. Calvaneso 1,362 4.88%
Total votes 27,886 100%

Conservative primary


Despite the fact that Brown was cross-endorsed by the Erie County Conservative Party under the terms of New York State's electoral fusion law,[2] Republican candidate Kevin Helfer mounted an unprecedented write-in campaign[6] in the Conservative primary election on September 13, 2005 that was described as "crucial" for his hopes to win the general election.[7]


The Conservative primary was held on September 13, 2005. Helfer won the election handily, earning 190 votes (65.1%) to Brown's 95 (32.5%). Gaughan also earned 7 write-in votes (2.4%).[8]

Conservative primary results[9]
Party Candidate Votes %
Conservative Kevin J. Helfer (write-in) 190 65.07%
Conservative Byron W. Brown 95 32.53%
Conservative Kevin P. Gaughan (write-in) 7 2.40%
Total votes 292 100%

Independence Party primary


Despite the fact that the Erie County Independence Party officially endorsed Brown for mayor, there were two candidates from that party who also sought the nomination: Louis P. Corrigan, the Secretary of the Erie County Independence Party, and former local party chairman Charles J. Flynn. Corrigan was ruled ineligible for the ballot by the Erie County Board of Elections due to petition challenges,[10] while Flynn's petitions withstood a similar legal challenge.[11]


The Independence Party primary was held on September 13. Flynn placed first with 135 votes (45.2%); Brown took second place with 128 (42.8%). Also, Helfer earned 32 write-in votes (10.7%), and Gaughan won four (1.3%). [12]

Independence primary results[13]
Party Candidate Votes %
Independence Charles J. Flynn 135 45.15%
Independence Byron W. Brown 128 42.81%
Independence Kevin J. Helfer (write-in) 32 10.70%
Independence Kevin P. Gaughan (write-in) 4 1.34%
Total votes 299 100%

Other candidates

Helfer was unopposed for the Republican nomination.

Despite the petition irregularities which kept her off the ballot in the Democratic primary, Judith Einach was able to secure the nomination of the Green Party and contest the general election.

General election


In addition to the Erie County Democratic Party, Brown received the endorsement of the Erie County Working Families Party. Brown was also endorsed by both of New York's United States Senators, Charles Schumer and Hillary Clinton, as well as New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, and New York State Assemblyman and future Congressman Brian Higgins.[14] Helfer was endorsed by the Erie County Republican Party as well as the Buffalo Niagara Partnership,[15] the Buffalo News,[16] and local businessman and future gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino.[7]


Poll source Date(s)
of error
Brown (D)
Helfer (R)
Other Undecided
SurveyUSA November 4–6, 2005 573 (LV) ± 4.1% 61% 30% 7% 2%
SurveyUSA October 21–23, 2005 564 (LV) ± 4.1% 59% 28% 10% 3%
SurveyUSA September 27–29, 2005 547 (LV) ± 4.3% 55% 33% 8% 4%


The general election was held on November 8, 2005. Brown placed first with 46,613 votes cast, or 63.8% of the total. Helfer placed second with 19,853 votes (27.2%). In third place was Einach, with 3,525 votes (4.8%), and in fourth was Flynn with 3,082 votes (4.2%).[17]

General election results[18]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Byron W. Brown 43,541 59.59%
Working Families Byron W. Brown 3,072 4.20%
Total Byron W. Brown 46,613 63.79%
Republican Kevin J Helfer 17,680 24.19%
Conservative Kevin J Helfer 2,173 2.97%
Total Kevin J Helfer 19,853 27.17%
Green Judith S. Einach 3,525 4.82%
Independence Charles J. Flynn 3,082 4.22%
Total votes 73,073 100%


  1. ^ Key:
    A – all adults
    RV – registered voters
    LV – likely voters
    V – unclear


  1. ^ Kryszak, Joyce (April 29, 2005). "Mayor Masiello Declines to Seek Re-Election". WBFO News. Retrieved July 14, 2013.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ a b Hicks, Jonathan P. (June 4, 2005). "All Eyes on a Black Candidate in Buffalo's Mayoral Race". New York Times. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
  3. ^ McCarthy, Robert J. (August 5, 2005). "Einach taken off ballot for primary". Buffalo News. Archived from the original on July 17, 2013. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
  4. ^ "Our Campaigns - Buffalo NY Mayor - D Primary Race - Sep 13, 2005". Our Campaigns. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
  5. ^ "2005 Democratic Municipal Primary" (PDF).
  6. ^ Lakamp, Patrick (November 9, 2005). "Lack of momentum in mid-campaign proves insurmountable for Helfer". Buffalo News. Archived from the original on July 17, 2013. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
  7. ^ a b McCarthy, Robert J. (October 9, 2005). "Developer stands out among group of advisers assembled by Helfer". Buffalo News.
  8. ^ "Our Campaigns - Buffalo NY Mayor - C Primary Race - Sep 13, 2005". Our Campaigns. Retrieved September 15, 2013.
  9. ^ "2005 Conservative Municipal Primary" (PDF).
  10. ^ McCarthy, Robert J. (August 2, 2005). "Corrigan loses in first round of petition fights". Buffalo News.
  11. ^ Gryta, Matt (August 9, 2005). "Flynn's petitions ruled valid". Buffalo News.
  12. ^ "Our Campaigns - Buffalo NY Mayor - IDP Primary Race - Sep 13, 2005". Our Campaigns. Retrieved September 15, 2013.
  13. ^ "2005 Independence Municipal Primary" (PDF).
  14. ^ Hicks, Jonathan P. (October 12, 2005). "Race Plays Silent Role in Campaign for Mayor of Buffalo". New York Times. Retrieved July 15, 2013.
  15. ^ "BREAKING: The Partnership Endorses Kevin Helfer". Buffalo Rising. October 26, 2005. Retrieved July 15, 2013.
  16. ^ "Brown offers much, but vision and new directions are required of next mayor". Buffalo News. October 30, 2005.
  17. ^ "Our Campaigns - Buffalo NY Mayor Race - Nov 08, 2005". Our Campaigns. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
  18. ^ "2005 Erie County Election" (PDF).
This page was last edited on 23 January 2022, at 12:34
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