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Published: 3/16/2005

Democrats ready to name new chairman

BY FRITZ WENZEL
BLADE POLITICAL WRITER
Wilson Wilson
DIANE HIRES Enlarge

Jack Wilson, director of special projects for the Northwestern Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council, is expected to be elected chairman of the Lucas County Democratic Party at a meeting tonight, interim Chairman Dennis Duffey said last night.

Mr. Wilson, 57, will fill the vacancy created when Sandy Isenberg stepped down as chairman Feb. 14. The party central committee meets at 7 tonight at Sommerset Hall on Tremainsville Road to take the vote.

Mr. Duffey said he supports Mr. Wilson because "over the years, Jack's worked on a number of campaigns, people both from the A team and the B team."

"I like to think he can be stern enough where maybe the past chairman lacked a little bit of that. He can tell anybody, 'Hey, you need to get in line,'●" Mr. Duffey said.

Mr. Wilson, husband of Judge Arlene Singer of the state 6th District Court of Appeals, has worked behind the scenes in the Democratic Party for decades.

He did not respond to phone calls seeking comment.

The party has been split into two factions for years. That split was deepened by last year's race for party chairman, when Paula Ross, a leader of the so-called A team that had controlled the party for decades, was tossed out by the so-called B team. Ms. Isenberg became chairman but quit in frustration because, she said, she could not bring the two factions together. "Hopefully, he can get all this behind us," Mr. Duffey said.

Deputy county Treasurer John Irish said he thinks "there's a much greater possibility [for unity] with someone like Jack than somebody who has been highly identified with one team or the other."

Toledo Councilman Frank Szollosi, an A team member, called Mr. Wilson "a very capable guy." Other A team members attending a Szollosi fund-raiser last night at the UAW hall in Maumee said they'd reserve judgment on his leadership.

Contact Fritz Wenzel at:

fritz@theblade.com

or 419-724-6134.



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