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Buffalo mayoral race heats up as the primary election approaches

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Buffalo: Buffalo mayoral race heats up as the primary election approaches
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The race for Buffalo mayor is heating up as the primary election is nearly one month away. As YNN's Kaitlyn Lionti reports, Mayor Byron Brown is speaking out about accusations regarding his administration.

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Friday marks the sixth day for the "Takin' it to the Streets" campaign for Buffalo Mayoral Candidate Bernie Tolbert. Now, he's doing it without publicizing the people he is meeting with across the city.

"I've heard stories from the very beginning, that people have said to me, I want to help you but I've been told I can't or shouldn't," Tolbert.

Without giving specifics, Tolbert said he believes Mayor Byron Brown's campaign is threatening his volunteers.

"We're not going to stop, we're not going to be intimidated, but we will take every step, every measure we can to protect those who've been willing to talk to us because it's not fair that they should suffer," said Tolbert.

"My response is, that is absolutely ridiculous. And clearly, he's a candidate with no ideas, no plans for the future and he's trying to distract the voters with unsubstantiated, non-sensical claims," responded Mayor Byron Brown.

However, Tolbert isn't alone in his accusations. Republican candidate Sergio Rodriguez said he's heard similar stories during his campaign.

"Many people that are volunteering in our campaign and that are helping us have expressed concern about doing so publicly because of retaliation by the administration. You know, there's a culture of fear that permeates throughout the entire city governmental structure and that's something that you can ask many of the city employees," said Rodriguez.

Voters will head to the polls on September 10 for the primary election between Brown and Tolbert. The winner will face Rodriguez in the general election on November 5.

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