Mayor Byron Brown, the accomplished four-term Mayor of New York’s second largest City, is being urged by his most inner circle of advisors to enter the Democratic Party’s presidential nominating process later this year. Governor Andrew Cuomo, the Mayor’s longtime political ally, took himself out of presidential contention late last year.
Brown has instructed at least one advisor (a frequent donor and local businessman) to begin planning initial campaign trips to meet with Democratic Party officials and key activists in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada. The Chronicle is told that those trips could take place as soon as June of this year, following an official campaign announcement that’s unlikely to take place until the weather breaks. Brown is inclined to stage his official announcement at MLK Park during this year’s Juneteenth Festival.
While he is unlikely to win the Presidential nomination, advisors think that he would be best positioned among the field to win the Vice Presidential nomination.
The logic is simple: if Democrats want to win the Rust Belt, then elect someone who has been on the ground rebuilding a legacy city — working against the profound narratives of industrial restructuring, free trade, and the collapse of American manufacturing.
“The challenge for the Democratic ticket will be to unite the Rust Belt and African American constituencies,” explains one local Democratic Party official. “We need to make each demographic realize that their regional economic interests are very much the same.”
That narrative would be most strongly articulated with Brown serving as Vice Presidential running mate to Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, or to Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota. But even if the ticket doesn’t double down on the Midwestern thematic of industrial revival (the theme that Brown is known to prefer), the source argues that a longtime African American Mayor of a Rust Belt City on the mend would be a golden branding opportunity for any of the Democratic contenders on the field.
Brown is “inclined to retain” Republican political operative Chris Grant to manage the campaign and serve as it’s
“The campaign would ‘revel in centrist messaging’,” he adds.