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Published: Wednesday, 8/19/2009

Wilkowski ads star his wife

BY TOM TROY
BLADE POLITICS WRITER

Mayoral candidate Keith Wilkowski yesterday launched a new set of TV ads featuring what he hopes will be a potent political weapon his wife.

Barbara Wilkowski, Mr. Wil kowski s spouse of 30 years, is featured in four new television spots running on WTOL Channel 11, and WTVG Channel 13.

In the ads, Mrs. Wilkowski faces slightly away from the camera and talks about her husband s qualities, his position on jobs, his dedication, and how he would turn around Toledo.

We ve had a lot of people go out to the suburbs looking for newness, looking for opportunities out there. But he believes that we can create these opportunities right here in this city, Mrs. Wilkowski says in one clip, with gentle music in the background.

She goes on to say Mr. Wilkow-ski believes Toledo can create housing, jobs, and entertainment so that when these young people are graduating from college they ll want to stay here.

In another one, Mrs. Wilkowski says her husband is driven, and has a real sense of purpose, and he just feels that he can turn this city around.

Wilkowski Wilkowski
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Marlene Harris-Taylor, a spokesman for the campaign, said the ads were not scripted.

It was one of those free-form kind of interviews where we just let her talk about Keith, Ms. Harris-Taylor said.

Mr. Wilkowski is one of six people appearing on the Sept. 15 primary ballot for mayor, along with independents D. Michael Collins, Mike Bell, and Opal Covey, Republican Jim Moody, and fellow Democrat Ben Konop. The top two vote-getters will go on to compete in the November election.

Mr. Bell, the city s former fire chief, is not planning to use the television airwaves in the primaries because he already has strong name recognition but will focus on direct voter contract through the mail and knocking on doors, spokesman Jennifer Sorgenfrei said.

At this point the field is so large that direct voter contact is a little more practical given that he has high name recognition due to multiple years of service to the community as it is, Ms. Sorgenfrei said.

Mr. Konop, a Lucas County commissioner, was the first of the six to go on television. His campaign bought time July 10 to air an ad portraying him as the new-generation mayor and a new beginning for Toledo.

Mr. Moody is running radio commercials on WSPD-AM 1370 in which he urges listeners to vote for him and Take back Toledo, the name of a committee that mounted a failed effort to get a question on the ballot this year to recall Mayor Carty Finkbeiner.

Mr. Collins was not immediately available for comment yesterday but has said he had no plans to buy TV ads.

Mrs. Wilkowski is a former social worker who stayed at home to raise their two sons and two daughters and then went back to work as a registered nurse. She was employed for 17 years at Toledo Hospital and now is employed in a clinic.

Of their four children, the oldest Erica and Emily live in Toledo. Greg lives and works in Washington and Joe attends Ohio University in Athens.

This current round of television ads is Mr. Wilkowski s second.

Contact Tom Troy at:tomtroy@theblade.comor 419-724-6058.



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