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Published: Wednesday, 4/30/2003

GOP candidate has fund-raising lead in 5th District


Campaign finance reports filed with the Lucas County Board of Elections show the Republican candidate for the Toledo City Council District 5 seat with a fund-raising lead over her Democratic opponent in the final days before the May 6 special election.

The campaign of Republican lawyer Mary Beth Moran raised $29,205, including a $5,000 loan from herself, while Democratic law clerk Ellen Grachek reported contributions of $20,428.

Ms. Moran has spent about half of her money - $14,919 - while Ms. Grachek has spent just $3,499, or about 17 percent of her war chest.

Ms. Grachek's contributions included $7,224 from organized labor. An additional $5,520 came from political insiders, including Democratic officeholders, party officials, or past candidates, her report shows.

Ms. Moran received no money from labor union political action committees. All her contributions came from 223 individuals, who gave an average of $108.54, excluding the loan.

Ms. Grachek, who was appointed to the seat after Tina Skeldon Wozniak was appointed a Lucas County commissioner, received money from 168 individuals, who gave an average of $78.59.

Tuesday's election will be the first of three this year to determine who will control the District 5 seat, which represents most of West Toledo.

Under election rules spelled out by the city charter, voters will decide next week who gets the seat for the rest of this year.

In September, there will be a nonpartisan primary election, with the two top vote-getters advancing to the November runoff election. The top finisher in that election will win a four-year term on council.

Two years ago, Ms. Wozniak, a Democrat, raised $30,860 in running for re-election to her District 5 seat. She had $2,501 left when the campaign ended.

In 1999, the last special election for a Toledo district council seat, Democrat Wade Kapszukiewicz began the campaign with $9,244 cash on hand, raised $37,611, and spent $43,884 on his way to victory over Republican Nick Wichowski in District 6, which includes Point Place and part of West Toledo.

Mr. Wichowski raised $15,315 during that campaign, and spent even more, loaning his campaign money to meet expenses.

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