Mother Of Buffalo Shooting Survivor Enters NY Primary Election With Hopes To Secure A Council Seat

Some of the most impactful social and political figures are driven to take the mantle of leadership after tragedy strikes.

Zeneta Everhart and India Walton have entered the realm of politics to advocate for Black people in Buffalo, NY, one year after a racist attack at a Tops Friendly Supermarket. Everhart and Walton are contenders for the same seat on Buffalo’s Common Council.

The race to the seat is not exactly a fight between the two Black women. Everhart commented on her relationship with Walton, “We’re not adversaries, in my book,” according to The Washington Post. A showdown is the last thing a mother who almost lost her son to a racist mass shooter wants. Everhart’s son Zaire Goodman was shot while working during the Tops Friendly Supermarket attack in 2022.

According to The Post, Goodman survived and received an overwhelming amount of support, his mother said. Support from the community motivated Everhart to set her sights on politics. The Post reported on Everhart’s statement about the conviction and why she felt the need to run for a local government office. “Part of me wanting to run for Masten is about paying it forward because of the love that was shown to my son,” she said during a phone interview. The mother and Democrat noted, “People are still dropping off gifts, leaving things on my doorstep for Zaire. And that, to me, means that I have to give back to my community.”

Walton, the other Black woman vying for the Buffalo Common Council seat, has prior experience with primary elections. In 2021, Walton triumphed over incumbent Mayor Byron Brown in the Democratic Party primary for the mayoral election, The New York Times reported. Walton lost to Brown in the general election after he entered the race as a write-in.

Like Everhart, Walton also showed her commitment to the community. She said, “For too long, we’ve seen our city work for politicians, for developers, for the police union, but not for ordinary working families. In our city, everyone will have a seat at the table,” according to The Times.

Primary elections for the local government office will be held on June 27.