"Today, I endorse @indiawaltonbflo, the Democratic nominee for Mayor of Buffalo," the New York Democrat tweeted Thursday. "She's a community leader, nurse, & mother with a clear progressive vision for her hometown. Dems are at our best when we build a big tent & forge inclusive coalitions to fight for everyday people."
"As Buffalo voters start to head to the polls this weekend, I urge them to cast their ballot for India Walton as the next Mayor of Buffalo. India is an inspiring community leader, mother, nurse, and a lifelong Buffalonian with a clear progressive vision for her hometown," the majority leader said in a statement.
If Walton is elected next month, she will be the first-ever female executive in Buffalo and the most high-profile socialist mayor the U.S. has witnessed in several years.
"India Walton won the Democratic primary fair and square and is the nominee, and I have always believed that the Democratic party is a big tent and is strongest and most able to build national majorities and bring meaningful change when it is inclusive — that is exactly how the Senate Democratic caucus is structured," Schumer wrote.
Walton, who won Buffalo's Democratic incumbent mayor this summer and is on the ballot to be mayor in a November 2 election, has been praised by the Democratic Socialists of America and is a vocal advocate of defunding the police.
Progressive Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is scheduled to partake in a rally with Walton this weekend.
Questioned by reporters throughout the primary race if she identified as a socialist, she announced, "Oh absolutely."
"I'm just excited to be a part of this movement that is ushering progressive politics into Buffalo," she explained to reporters. "Being the third-poorest mid-sized city in this country, we should be considering how we begin to eradicate concentrated poverty and disadvantage, and Democratic socialist leanings are a big step in getting us there."
Buffalo's current mayor, Democrat Byron Brown, was defeated by Walton in the primary, though he launched a write-in campaign that most specialists think will fail and be challenged legally.
If elected, Walton will become the first female mayor in Buffalo's history.