We're less than a month away from an unprecedented mayoral race in Buffalo that's getting national attention.

Vermont Senator and two-time presidential candidate Bernie Sanders sent an email this past week fundraising for Democratic socialist candidate India Walton, who pulled a major upset defeating a four-term incumbent in the June Democratic primary, calling on his supporters to support Walton as a part of a nationwide effort to elect progressive candidates.

But here in New York, she's yet to be endorsed by the state's top Democrats, despite winning the primary.

Despite the energy surrounding her campaign, the city's current mayor and some outside observers believe Buffalo will return to its roots in November.

Democratic political consultant Jennifer Tuttle said Walton broke through with a progressive message of police reform, social justice and a more equitable economic renaissance.

"I haven't come across anyone who wants to live in a pre-2006 Buffalo, but I have come across a lot of people who feel that the progress has not included them. And they're just not sure what the mayor would do with another four years," Tuttle said.

Buffalo, much like other cities in upstate New York, is solidly in the Democratic column. The last Republican mayor of the city left office in the 1960s, but Western New York Democrats are seen as more moderate, business friendly, and largely resistant to major cuts in law enforcement.

It's true Walton scored a decisive victory, but Republican consultant Vic Martucci says Walton only received 11% of the total registered Democratic vote and only 7.5% of all registered voters in the city on primary day.

And there was another factor: Mayor Brown himself. Both analysts agree Brown phoned it in during the final weeks of the campaign, failed to get his voters to the polls and was so confident he didn't bother getting an additional ballot line. His only choice is to mount a write-in campaign.

While Brown works to get his supporters to properly "write down Byron Brown," Walton isn't watering down a progressive platform, promising to redirect millions in tax payer dollars from the city police department to social services, hoping to motivate those feeling left behind by the status quo one more time.

"People are ready for something different,” Tuttle said. “And I think people will be excited to see that organizing wins. It's not a perfect bellwether because he's running a write in campaign, but it would be a disservice to say that this race will have no impact in future races run in Upstate New York and across the country."​​