Who is Karen McMahon, and How Did She Topple Assemblyman Raymond Walter?

Nov. 8, 2018
Karen McMahon celebrates her election to the State Assembly early Wednesday morning at the Democratic Party election night celebration in the Larkin Center of Commerce. (Derek Gee/Buffalo News)
Karen McMahon celebrates her election to the State Assembly early Wednesday morning at the Democratic Party election night celebration in the Larkin Center of Commerce.

When Karen McMahon went up on stage at Erie County Democratic headquarters in downtown Buffalo around 11:45 on election night, she told the crowd things were looking good but that she didn’t know for sure whether she had beaten Republican Assemblyman Raymond Walter.

Moments later, Jeremy Zellner, the Erie County Democratic chairman, stepped to the lectern and proclaimed her the winner to raucous applause in the Larkin Center of Commerce.

“It was very dramatic,” McMahon said in an interview the next day.

McMahon beat Walter, a seven-year incumbent, by 52 percent to 46 percent in the 146th Assembly district that covers the towns of Amherst and Pendleton.
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