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Published: Monday, 8/24/2009

5 candidates to face off in forum Monday night


The five leading candidates for mayor of Toledo face off Monday night at 7 on WTOL-TV, Channel 11.

The debate, co-sponsored by The Blade, will be the first live televised forum prior to the primary election on Sept. 15.

Voters are likely to hear the city's toughest issues addressed - among them the financial deficit that has forced a layoff of city police officers and how to propel Toledo into a brighter economic future.

Participating in the debate will be Democrats Keith Wilkowski and Ben Konop, independents Mike Bell and D. Michael Collins, and Republican Jim Moody.

Incumbent Mayor Carty Finkbeiner, a Democrat, is not seeking re-election. Independent Opal Covey, who ran in two previous elections and polled less than 1 percent of the vote, is on the ballot but was not invited to the forum.

The candidates have said they were looking forward to communicating directly with the large audience expected to tune in for the political forum.

The debate will take place in the auditorium of the Fifth Third Center at One SeaGate downtown. It will be moderated by WTOL anchor Jerry Anderson, with anchor Chrys Peterson moderating questions from a voter panel and Blade politics writer Tom Troy also posing questions.

The audience will consist of invited guests and invited supporters of the candidates.

The public is invited to a predebate social gathering sponsored by the Press Club of Toledo in the Triple A Cafe on the Park Level of One SeaGate starting at

5:30 p.m. The reception is free and open to the public.

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