United States

Minneapolis mayor re-elected, socialist Buffalo mayoral candidate concedes

2 minute read

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey is pictured during a memorial service for George Floyd following his death in Minneapolis police custody, in Minneapolis, in Minneapolis, U.S., June 4, 2020. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

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Nov 3 (Reuters) - Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey won a second term in Tuesday's election after a tumultuous political year dominated by the aftermath of George Floyd's murder, while an upstart socialist Democratic mayoral candidate in Buffalo, New York, conceded defeat.

Frey, a Democrat who fought off a crowded field of challengers, had opposed a ballot measure backed by his more liberal rivals that would have replaced the police department with a new public safety agency. Minneapolis voters rejected the measure.

Instead, Frey, 40, charted a middle course, calling for police reforms while also vowing to hire more officers for a department that has been hit hard by departures and has struggled to curb a spike in violent crime.

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After election returns showed that he had won, he urged city officials to come together "to begin restoring a fractured faith, not just in our institutions but in one another."

"This is our Minneapolis moment to heal and move forward together with renewed purpose toward shared goals and overdue change," he said on Twitter on Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters, he added, "I'm calling on everyone to come together to unite around common principles and values and to work with us in good faith towards the progress that we all collectively need to see in our city."

In Buffalo, India Walton, who captured the Democratic mayoral nomination in June in a surprise upset against long-time Mayor Byron Brown, conceded on Wednesday that she had lost the general election after the incumbent mounted a rare write-in campaign.

"While we anticipate that the margins will narrow, it seems unlikely that we will end up with enough votes to inaugurate a Walton administration in January," she said in a statement on Wednesday after initially refusing to concede.

Brown's victory gives him a fifth four-year term.

Minneapolis employs a ranked-choice system for its mayoral election, in which voters can rank up to three candidates in order of preference.

Frey led after the first round of votes were counted on Tuesday, but he fell short of the mark needed for an outright victory. He cemented his win in a subsequent round of counting on Wednesday.

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Reporting by Tyler Clifford and Peter Szekely; Editing by Bill Berkrot

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