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Published: Sunday, 11/6/2005

Running shoes a necessity to keep up with Finkbeiner

Toledo mayoral candidate Carty Finkbeiner gives some instructions to campaign worker Abdul Khan before Mr. Finkbeiner's door-to-door walk yesterday. Toledo mayoral candidate Carty Finkbeiner gives some instructions to campaign worker Abdul Khan before Mr. Finkbeiner's door-to-door walk yesterday.

If you are ever following Carty Finkbeiner while he recruits voters, wear comfortable shoes.

Ahead in the polls with only four days left in the race, Mr. Finkbeiner, 66, chose to forgo a victory lap.

"You finish strong by giving it your best effort, particularly when the finish line is so close at hand," the mayoral candidate said yesterday.

Set loose with his team in Plum Leaf Commons, a neighborhood close to Southwyck Shopping Center, he hustled past a boy in black galoshes pedaling a bicycle.

The day started with a 9:30 a.m. rally at the Teamsters' headquarters. Volunteers filled almost all of the union hall's 153 folding chairs. After the meeting, he replaced his tasseled loafers with ASICS running shoes and began to organize the canvassing effort.

Advance men wearing "Carty Gets Results" shirts rang doorbells. When someone answered who was interested in speaking with the former and perhaps future mayor, Mr. Finkbeiner sprang to the front porch.

"You remember me?" asked a Korean woman with bobbed hair.

"Katie," said Mr. Finkbeiner.

He began to chat with Mrs. Katie Yoon, a retired tailor who immigrated to America in 1977.

"Your husband still delivering mail?" said Mr. Finkbeiner.

"Good memory," said Mrs. Yoon.

A campaign sign now decorates Mrs. Yoon's front yard.

Not every encounter was a happy reunion. Some voters came from divided households.

The rift in the Democratic Party between Mayor Jack Ford and his predecessor should not split a marriage or a city, Mr. Finkbeiner understood.

Others politely declined to indicate their Election Day preference.

Mr. Finkbeiner talked to them about jobs, a plan to restore the Southwyck Shopping Center, and the need for a "pro-business attitude." He explained what made him different from Mr. Ford with two words: "vision" and "energy."

Outside Southwyck Lanes, where Mr. Finkbeiner spoke yesterday afternoon with participants in a women's bowling tournament, Gary Jewell approached the candidate's Jeep Grand Cherokee. The Vietnam veteran said the city needed to repair the damaged curb in front of his house.

Mr. Finkbeiner flipped him a business card. He told Mr. Jewell to send him a letter about the problem. That seemed to be a reasonable step toward a solution, said Mr. Jewell.

Contact Joshua Boak at: jboak@theblade.com or 419-724-6728.

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