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Published: Friday, 4/30/2010

Lucas County Commissioner candidate claims he's 'smear campaign' target

BY CHRISTOPHER D. KIRKPATRICK
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Lucas County Commissioner candidate Ben Krompak held a news conference Friday morning to voice his objection to what he says is a negative "smear campaign" by one of his opponents in the Democratic primary.

In campaign ads, Mike Zychowicz labels Mr. Krompak a "high school drop-out," a "college drop-out," and a "political operative who bounces from one campaign job to the next."

Mr. Krompak says he didn't drop out of high school, and instead, received special permission to obtain his GED at age 16.

"I wanted to start college. I wanted to be out in the world," he said Friday morning in front of the Lucas County Courthouse. "That's always been a great source of pride for me."

Mr. Krompak says he then attended the University of Toledo but didn't complete a degree. Since leaving UT, he has worked in consulting jobs in politics and communications, he said.

"Not everyone needs a four-year college degree," he said. "[Attending UT] was a good experience for me."

Mr. Zychowicz is a lawyer who describes himself as a family man, small business owner, and a political outsider with traditional blue collar roots. In a campaign ad, he writes that he's "the son of a North Toledo butcher, grocer and community activist."

The field in the Democratic Party primary is crowded for the seat being vacated by Ben Konop.

In addition to Mr. Krompak and Mr. Zychowicz, Carol Contrada, Art Jones, Earl Murry, and Tim Porter are also seeking the Democratic nomination.

Contact Christopher D. Kirkpatrick at:

ckirkpatrick@theblade.com

or 419-724-6134.



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