For political observers in western New York, 2021 has been unforgettable. Gov. Kathy Hochul rose to the state’s most senior office after Andrew M. Cuomo resigned amid growing scandals involving allegations of sexual harassment, reports of Covid deaths in nursing homes and hospitals. state aid that was used to write Cuomo’s book on his Covid leadership.
Hochul has put his own seal on the governorship, including a less top-down approach to Covid-related mandates and enforcement. Her ability to differentiate between keeping New York City safe and not upsetting large segments of the population with overbearing government will be a factor in whether she wins the election for a full term in 2022.
The Buffalo mayoral race felt like a brawl. Veteran Mayor Byron W. Brown was overthrown in the Democratic primary by upstart India Walton. Brown, backed by much of the city’s establishment, staged a general election writing campaign and won a fifth term, beating the outmatched newcomer.
The Buffalo Bills grabbed the headlines with their play on the field and in the off-field negotiations for a new stadium.
Mighty Josh Allen, one of the NFL’s top five quarterbacks, led the Bills last January to the AFC Championship game, where they lost to the Kansas City Chiefs.