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Published: Saturday, 7/18/2009

7 file to run for Toledo mayor; 25 vie for 6 council seats

BY IGNAZIO MESSINA
AND TOM TROY
BLADE STAFF WRITERS

Seven people will battle in September to become the next mayor of Toledo, and a crowded field of 25 will compete for six at-large seats on Toledo City Council.

Three major-party candidates, - Republican Jim Moody and Democrats Keith Wilkowski and Ben Konop - and independents Mike Bell, D. Michael Collins, Don Gozdowski, and Opal Covey filed petitions by yesterday's deadline to be on the Sept. 15 ballot.

The top two mayoral candidates and top 12 council candidates will advance to the Nov. 3 election.

Mr. Bell was Toledo's fire chief from 1990 to 2007. The 54-year-old most recently was the state fire marshal.

Mr. Collins, a Toledo district councilman, is 64. Mr. Collins is a retired Toledo police officer and former patrol officer's union president.

Ms. Covey, 68, is a church minister who calls herself a prophetess.

Mr. Gozdowski, 54, is a home-improvement contractor.

Mr. Konop, 33, is a Lucas County commissioner.

Mr. Moody, 48, is a real estate investor and businessman.

Mr. Wilkowski, 53, is a Toledo lawyer who has been a member of the Toledo Board of Education and a Lucas County commissioner.

Ms. Covey and Mr. Gozdowski ran a distant fifth and sixth, respectively, for mayor in the 2005 primary election.

Polly Taylor-Gerken, 48, a Democrat who ran for Toledo City Council and was narrowly defeated 12 years ago, announced just yesterday - and filed her petitions then - for a primary run for a Toledo City Council at-large seat.

Ms. Taylor-Gerken, 2025 Sherwood Ave., who is married to Lucas County Commissioner Pete Gerken, is a 30-year employee of the Toledo Board of Education - 18 years as a school secretary and the last 12 as a school psychologist.

Ms. Taylor-Gerken is a former board member of the utilities watchdog group Ohio Citizen Action and is now a member of the board of Covenant Youth Development, which assists troubled African-American youth.

She said she wanted to run because there were no female candidates with her experiences and skills.

The only other female candidate to file for City Council is Tricia Lyons of the fiscally conservative group Teamwork Toledo.

Ms. Lyons of 4542 Wedgewood Ct. filed her signature petitions Monday.

Three of City Council's 12 members are women. At-large Councilman Betty Shultz is not seeking re-election this year, and the two female district council members are not on the ballot this year.

Ms. Taylor-Gerken said she grew up in East Toledo and graduated from Whitmer High School and the University of Toledo.

She ran in 1997 for an at-large council seat, coming in seventh.

Council incumbents Phillip Copeland of 4924 Laurentide Lane, Joe McNamara of 4619 Cranbrook Drive, George Sarantou of 4511 Sulgrave Drive, and Steven Steel of 2041 Parkwood Ave. filed petitions to be on the ballot.

Mr. Steel, formerly president of the Toledo Board of Education, was appointed July 7 to fill the vacancy created when Mark Sobczak resigned.

Councilman Frank Szollosi is not seeking re-election.

Also seeking a seat on council is Rob Ludeman of 1865 Glen Ellyn Drive, who was elected from District 2 in 1993 and regularly re-elected until 2007, when he was barred by charter term limits from running again.

Other candidates filing petitions for council's six at-large seats by yesterday's deadline were:

•John Adams, 3211 Astor Ave.

•Terry Biel, 2405 Cheyenne Blvd.

•Joseph Carter, 1827 Dority Rd.

•Mark Clark, 3637 Barcelona Drive.

•Jeff Cromwell, 4243 Fairview Drive.

•Ty Daniels, 1450 Eastgate Rd.

•Adam Martinez, 2346 Winterset Drive.

•Kevin Milliken, 5702 Angola Rd.

•Hans G. Schnapp, 301 Broadway.

•Terry Shankland, 851 Islington St.

•Constantine P. Stamos, 3037 West Lincolnshire Blvd.

•Steven Sulewski, 1715 Brussels St.

•William Terry, 605 Bronx Drive.

•Paul Tetuan, 5937 Yarmouth Ave.

•Jeremiah Van Buren, 2438 Georgetown Ave.

•Stephen Ward, 390 Beacon St.

•David Washington, 3628 Torrance Drive.

•Michael R. Watson, 1634 Amesbury Rd.



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