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Published: Friday, 4/29/2011

2 Democrats file petitions seeking District 1 seat


Two candidates went public Thursday with their interest in replacing Wilma Brown as the District 1 councilman.

Brandon Tucker, 27, was first to file his signature petition with the Lucas County Board of Elections to run for the seat to be vacated by Ms. Brown, who is barred under the city's term limits from running again.

And Aji Green, 35, announced his candidacy in a fund-raiser at a central-city church hall.

Mr. Green formerly worked at the Toledo Jeep assembly plant and now works as a legal professional with the firm D'Angelo & Szollosi. Mr. Tucker is director of workforce development at the Urban League of Greater Toledo.

Both are Democrats.

They are among at least five people -- all Democrats -- who have signaled interest in running in the Sept. 13 primary. The top two finishers will face off in the Nov. 8 general election.

Mr. Tucker of 2036 Upton Ave. said he grew up in District 1, graduated from Central Catholic High School and the University of Toledo, and has a master's degree in organizational leadership from Lourdes College. He said he was a member of the Air National Guard at the 180th Fighter Wing from 2004 to 2010, where he worked in logistics readiness.

He said he was running on a commitment to respond within 48 hours to any call from a constituent, and has given his campaign the slogan, "One Call, That's All."

"What we've heard in the community is that we need fresh, creative leadership on council. One of the things we've heard is that people want to have a voice, they want to be able to be connected to council," Mr. Tucker said.

Both candidates said they support the campaign to repeal Senate Bill 5, a law passed by the Republican-controlled General Assembly and signed by Republican Gov. John Kasich to restrict the collective bargaining rights of public employee unions, including those that represent city of Toledo employees.

Mr. Green, a native of Arkansas, moved to Toledo in 2001 to be with his wife, Venice Haynes, a teacher who grew up in Toledo. They live at 2658 Merrimac Blvd., and have a child. He formerly worked for the Toledo Jeep assembly plant and is a licensed mediator in Ohio. He is a graduate of the University of Toledo.

Mr. Green said he understands the economic problems facing families because of his own experience being out of work recently.

Mr. Green declared his support for a deed restriction making sure the city-owned Marina District is sold only to investors who promise to use local union contractors.

"Our mayor has done an excellent job going out and recruiting investors," Mr. Green said. But he said economic development also requires ensuring that local people benefit from the investment.

"It's best that people here in the city have those jobs because we've seen jobs sucked out of the city so many times," Mr. Green said.

Two investors from China withdrew their offer on a piece of the Marina District in East Toledo two weeks ago, reportedly in response to a demand by building trades unions for a requirement of using unionized contractors.

Others who have taken out petition forms to run for the District 1 seat are Delbra Blackshear, 651 Richards Rd.; Tyrone Riley, 629 Searles Rd., and Jason Schreiner, 3635 Torrance Drive. The district has 48,440 residents living in the central city and parts of West and South Toledo.

Contract Tom Troy at: tomtroy@theblade.com or 419-724-6058.

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