The political floodgates opened yesterday as four Democrats and one Republican took out signature petitions with the goal of running for the Lucas County Commission seat being vacated by Democrat Ben Konop.
Candidates are racing against a deadline now only one day away.
What sent them scrambling was Mr. Konop's decision made public Monday that he would not seek election to a second term on the board of commissioners.
Democrats who began circulating petitions yesterday were:
Carol Contrada, 58, a lawyer and chairman of the Sylvania Township Board of Trustees.
Art Jones, 75, South Toledo, former Toledo city councilman.
Ben Krompak, 28, of East Toledo, marketing consultant.
Michael Zychowicz, 53, Sylvania Township, lawyer.
One Republican took out petitions:
Daniel Steingraber, 52, Oregon, real estate appraiser.
They join Democrat Earl Murry, a retired University of Toledo professor who pulled petitions last Friday, and Republicans George Sarantou and Andy Glenn as possible candidates for the May 4 primary ballot. Mr. Sarantou is a Toledo city councilman. Mr. Glenn is a Springfield Township trustee.
The deadline to file petitions with at least 50 signatures of registered voters from their party is4 p.m. tomorrow. The top vote-getter from each party in the primary will face off in the Nov. 2 general election.
Mrs. Contrada, a partner in a law firm with her husband, Charles, said she believes she brings a reasoned style to resolving community issues. In 2007, she became the first Sylvania Township trustee since 1994 to win a second term.
She's also served on the boards of the Lucas County Improvement Corp., the Sylvania Area Community Improvement Corp., and the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council
of Governments. She is a member of the Sylvania Chamber of Commerce.
“I've been interested in it for some time. We have regional issues, and I would like to be part of the solution to the issues that are facing all of us,” Mrs. Contrada said.
Mr. Jones, a retired auto parts factory worker, worked on former Mayor Jack Ford's political campaigns and his administration. He was appointed to a seat on Toledo City Council in 2000 but lost his election bid the following year.
He most recently was chairman of a diversity oversight committee for the construction of the Lucas County Arena. He said the committee helped ensure that minorities got 15 percent of the work.
Mr. Krompak was the chief political strategist for the unsuccessful 2009 Democratic mayoral candidate Keith Wilkowski, who issued a statement that Mr. Krompak is a “dynamic young leader and big picture thinker unafraid to challenge the status quo.” Mr. Krompak was on the TMACOG Growth Strategies Council and the Greater Toledo Housing Coalition.
“I'm excited and optimistic about our future,” Mr. Krompak said. “We can build on the work being done by our entrepreneurs and university researchers and lead the world in the clean energy economy.”
Mr. Zychowicz, who grew up in West Toledo, a son of well-known grocer and community activist Ralph Zychowicz, said he has helped other candidates in the past and now has the time to be a candidate himself.
He was an appointee of former Mayor Carty Finkbeiner to the Toledo Civil Service Commission, stepping down in 2003 when he and his wife, Janice, moved to Sylvania Township. Mr. Zychowicz has a private law practice in Sylvania Township.
Mr. Steingraber served on the board of the River East Economic Revitalization Corp. in the 1980s, and in recent years has served on the board of the private business group River East Associates.
“My perspective is different than anything we've had in a lifetime on the commissioners,” Mr. Steingraber said. “I'm a small-business owner. It's time we get back to having people who run the businesses help run the government, people who have made a dollar, have hired people, and have created jobs, who know how to cut spending.”
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