BUFFALO, N.Y. - Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown stood before a crowd of hundreds as he officially kicked off his campaign for a third term.
Supporters chanted "four more years" and "three-peat," referring to another term in office.
Mayor Brown touted a lower crime rate than when he first took office and pointed out downtown development.
"I come here today to continue the progress and take it to a new level," said Brown.
2 On Your Side's Scott Brown looks back on Brown's record as mayor to date.
After nearly eight years as mayor, Brown says there's proof that he should be given another four years in office. He says the core of his campaign will be jobs and economic development. Citing major achievements, like Webster Block development, expansion of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and possible growth at the Waterfront, the mayor says he wants to bring more big projects to Buffalo.
"We're going to reach out to the business community in aggressive fashion like we've been doing, we're going to accelerate that, we're going to be more aggressive in reaching out to businesses locally, statewide and nationally," said Brown.
The mayor announces his bid for a third term with unemployment trending upward. The state Labor Department says that unemployment for Buffalo and Niagara Falls stands at 9.6 percent, which is up from 9.1 percent in January of last year.
Brown was joined by several members of the Buffalo Common Council, Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita, Buffalo police commissioner Daniel Derenda, and other state and local lawmakers.
Dozens of Buffalo firefighters demonstrated outside of the Reverend Dr. Bennett W. Smith, Sr. Family Life Center, where Brown made his announcement.
The firefighter union is battling with the city over a new contract. Firefighters have been working without a deal for 12 years. Another offer from the city is being negotiated with salaries a key issue.
Republican Sergio Rodriguez recently announced he is running against Brown. The key issue for him appears to be education. Rodriguez is a 32-year-old former Marine corp vet, who left Medallie College to run for mayor.
There is currently no Democratic challenger, but the former director of the Buffalo FBI office, Bernie Tolbert, has said he may consider challenging Brown in a primary.
According to the latest state campaign finance report, filed by the mayor in January, he had a war chest of $1.1 million.