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Published: Friday, 9/4/2009

Wilkowski tops all fund-raising in mayoral race

BY TOM TROY
BLADE POLITICS WRITER

Mayoral candidate Democrat Keith Wilkowski spent more than his opponents and goes into the final stretch of the campaign with more money, but trailed independent Mike Bell in new contributions during the latest campaign finance reporting period, according to reports filed yesterday.

Campaigns with candidates or issues on the Sept. 15 ballot were required to file reports with the Lucas County Board of Elections covering July 1 through Aug. 26.

Mr. Wilkowski, a Toledo lawyer making his second run for mayor, received $52,365 from supporters during that time and spent $78,729. He ended the period with $67,023 cash on hand.

His committee still owes $62,500 loaned by himself and another family member in his unsuccessful 2005 run for mayor.

Mr. Bell, Toledo's former fire chief, started with $8,567, and raised $60,805 from contributors. He spent $40,872 and reported having $28,500 cash left over as of Aug. 26.

Republican candidate Jim Moody, a Realtor in his first bid for office, began the period with $10,257 and raised $8,350. He spent $10,038 and had $8,608 left in his account.

D. Michael Collins, a political independent and former police officer and union president, started with $3,337, raised $5,336, spent $7,267, and ended the period with $1,407.

Ben Konop, a Democrat and Lucas County commissioner, started the period with $24,594, raised $1,710, and spent $26,031. He reported an outstanding loan of $47,250 from his own funds.

He ended with $273 available cash, and said he can identify with most of the city's voters.

“Our bank account looks very similar probably to most of Toledoans at this point,” Mr. Konop said yesterday.

He criticized Mr. Wilkowski and Mr. Bell over their finance reports, saying Mr. Wilkowski's contributors represent the political establishment that has run Toledo for several decades, while Mr. Bell's contributors represent bankers and Republican businessmen.

Among Mr. Konop's expenditures was $225 on July 28 to Virginia Ortega, who spoke as a member of the group Chicanos for Konop at an endorsement event Aug. 26.

Mr. Wilkowski's biggest backers included Georgia Welles, Bowling Green, $3,000; Robert Savage and Susan Ormond, $2,500 each; Susan Savage, $1,500, and Lucas County Treasurer Wade Kapszukiewicz's committee, former state and Lucas County Democratic chairman James Ruvolo, Michelle Savage Bissell, Robert Gersten, Thomas Schlachter, Jody DeBacker, Local 50 Plumbers and Pipefitters union, and Squire Sanders & Dempsey law firm, of Washington, D.C., $1,000 each.

Mr. Bell's biggest contributors were Local 92 Toledo Firefighters, Sara Dehoff of Perrysburg, and Christopher James, at $5,000 each; Mr. Bell, $2,500; Vibha Patel, $2,000; Vikrash Surati, $1,500; James Nicholson, $1,250; Teamsters, George Chapman, David Speicher of Kingsport, Tenn., Debra Dredden of Mission Viejo, Calif., Jon Levine, William Foster of Whitehouse, Jerry James, Paul Pellioni of Lasalle, Mich., Michael Gibbons of Sylvania, Thomas Cousino of Perrysburg, and Dennis Johnson, $1,000 each.

Independent Opal Covey raised $109 in contributions and received loans totaling $1,222. After campaign expenditures of $1,317, she had $14 left as of Aug. 26.

Among City Council candidates, Democrat Joe McNamara raised $3,550 and spent $3,852, and ended the period with $18,588. Polly Gerken-Taylor raised $10,350, reported $8,000 in “other income,” spent $11,143, and ended the period with $7,206.

Republican George Sarantou collected $11,211, spent $5,379, and ended with $6,939. Democrat Steven Steel collected $1,395 on top of $6,650 brought forward, spent $1,985, and ended the period with $6,060.

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



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