Even before any other potential candidates could enter the 2013 contest for mayor, the Buffalo Niagara Partnership made its choice clear Tuesday – incumbent Democrat Byron W. Brown.

The area’s top business organization announced its endorsement at its downtown offices during an event attended by Brown; Partnership President Andrew J. Rudnick; Tim Loftis, Partnership chairman and partner in the Jaeckle Fleischmann and Mugel law firm, and Jonathan Dandes, chairman of the organization’s Government Affairs Council and president of Rich Baseball Operations.

“Mayor Brown has proven himself to be a valuable, reliable, and continuous partner for Buffalo’s business development,” Rudnick said. “This ‘early’ endorsement directly reflects our ongoing confidence in Byron Brown and what he can continue to accomplish going forward.

“Much of the city’s current momentum – on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, riverfront, neighborhoods and in downtown’s core – is a direct result of our positive working relationship with Mayor Brown,” he added, “which we look forward to continuing in his third term.”

The Partnership has proven a close Brown ally in several City Hall projects in recent years. In 2009, it provided Brown’s administration with staff expertise to re-engineer the city’s economic development agencies and the mayor’s own office of strategic planning. In 2010, it helped broker the mayor’s agreement for enhanced park services and funding with the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy.

Throughout 2011, the Partnership and Brown collaborated on an effort to attract private, downtown investment via the Buffalo Building Reuse Project. And in 2012, the Partnership participated in the city’s Hire Buffalo initiative, which encourages businesses to hire city residents.