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Published: Friday, 6/3/2005

Democratic group backs Ford

Toledo Mayor Jack Ford has won endorsement for re-election from the political action committee formed to support candidates on the outs with the current leadership of the Lucas County Democratic Party.

Mr. Ford was the only mayoral candidate to appear before the screening committee of LucasCountyDemocrats.org, said Wade Kapszukiewicz, a city councilman and screening committee chairman.

For six at-large Toledo council seats, the group endorsed incumbents Phil Copeland, Karyn McConnell-Hancock, and Frank Szollosi and first-time candidates Chris Champion, Karen Shanahan, and Robert Vasquez.

For Toledo school board, the group endorsed incumbents Pete Silverman and Steven Thomas and former independent candidate Steve Steel.

For Toledo Municipal Court, the group endorsed Jim Vail.

LucasCountyDemocrats.org was formed to represent the party's "A team," who generally are supportive of Mr. Ford. The party's leadership since last year has been in the hands of the "B team" and is considered to be aligned with Carty Finkbeiner, who has not declared whether he will run for mayor.

Toledo lawyer Keith Wilkowski resigned Wednesday as a board member of the group because he is considering a run for mayor.

LucasCountyDemocrats.org plans to announce its endorsements this morning at its headquarters, 1111 Adams St.

"We were open and welcoming of anyone who wanted to screen," Mr. Kapszukiewicz said. "We did not turn anyone away."

"We are going to give these candidates all the support and resources they need to run effective, winning campaigns," Mr. Kapszukiewicz said. "We are going to do all the things it takes to elect these Democrats."

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