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Published: Tuesday, 9/13/2005

Finkbeiner, Ford will compete for Toledo mayor

BY JIM TANKERSLEY
BLADE POLITICS WRITER

Carty Finkbeiner and Jack Ford will spar in Round 2 of the Toledo mayor s race, and the incumbent mayor has already thrown the first punch.

Mr. Finkbeiner, Toledo s mayor from 1994 to 2002, won yesterday s primary election with nearly 37 percent of the vote, final results showed. Mr. Ford, the current mayor, finished second with 26 percent, followed closely by attorney Keith Wilkowski with 23 percent.

In an election marked by low turnout, Mr. Ford and Mr. Wilkowski appeared tightly locked throughout the evening. Mr. Ford pulled away near midnight, when a count of absentee ballots added nearly 600 votes to his lead.

With a second-place finish secured, he paused in a union parking lot early this morning to implicitly attack Mr. Finkbeiner s ethics and tie him to embattled Republican fund-raised Tom Noe.

Previewing what will likely be a nasty battle with Mr. Finkbeiner, the mayor said he ll also focus this campaign on ethics.

That s going to be a big issue in this campaign, he said. With what s going on in Columbus, what Tom Noe has been involved in, I think it s going to be on the minds of the voters and we need to have an ethical government. We re going to talk about that.

Mr. Finkbeiner, meanwhile, was preparing late last night to court former supporters of Mr. Wilkowski and City Councilman Rob Ludeman, who finished a distant fourth in the primary. He also said he d work to improve turnout efforts.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com.

(From earlier editions)

Toledo voters head to the polls today to pick finalists for mayor and city council at-large, and Perrysburg voters will cut their mayoral field in half.

Polls open at 6:30 a.m. in both cities and will close at 7:30 p.m.

Toledo voters may search for their polling place online at www.co.lucas.oh.us/boe/boe%20-applications/polllocator.asp, or by calling the Lucas County elections board at 419-213-4001.

Perrysburg voters may search for theirs at www.co.wood.oh.us/boe/VoterSearch.htm, or by calling the Wood County elections board at 419-354-9120.

Seven candidates are vying for mayor of Toledo. Four are well-known: former Mayor Carty Finkbeiner, Mayor Jack Ford, City Councilman Rob Ludeman, and attorney Keith Wilkowski. Mr. Finkbeiner, Mr. Ford, and Mr. Wilkowski are Democrats. Mr. Ludeman is a Republican.

Also running are candidates Opal Covey, Don Gozdowski, and Martin Okonski.

The primary is nonpartisan, so the top two vote-getters, regardless of party affiliation, will advance to the Nov. 8 general election.

The city council race includes 16 candidates jockeying for 12 spots in the run-off.

Six are current council members: Democrats Phil Copeland, Bob McCloskey, Karyn McConnell Hancock, and Frank Szollosi; and Republicans George Sarantou and Betty Shultz. Mr. McCloskey is a district councilman trying to jump to an at-large seat; the others are at-large incumbents.

The other council candidates include Democrats Thomas Meinecke, Karen Shanahan, Jason Schreiner, Terry Shankland, Mark Sobczak, Robert Tilton, and Robert Vasquez; Republican David Schulz; and independents Ernie Berry and Mitch Balonek, who is backed by the Green Party.

The Perrysburg mayor's race matches former Police Chief Nelson Evans; former city councilmen Kim Klewer and Jonathan Orser, who also served briefly as mayor; and City Councilman Tom Mackin.

Mr. Evans and Mr. Klewer are Republicans. Mr. Mackin and Mr. Orser are Democrats. As in Toledo, the election is non-partisan, with the top two vote-getters advancing to the general election.



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