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Published: Wednesday, 5/4/2011 - Updated: 2 years ago

Hicks-Hudson retains District 4 seat, faces new bid in September

BY IGNAZIO MESSINA
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Councilman George Sarantou watches as Paula Hicks-Hudson take her seat on the Toledo City Council for the first time this past January. Councilman George Sarantou watches as Paula Hicks-Hudson take her seat on the Toledo City Council for the first time this past January.
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Democrat Paula Hicks-Hudson Tuesday won eight additional months on Toledo City Council as the representative for downtown, the Old West End, and parts of north and central Toledo.

Ms. Hicks-Hudson easily defeated Democrat Terry Shankland and Republican Alfonso Narvaez in the District 4 election. She will complete the unexpired term of Michael Ashford, who was elected to Ohio's 48th House District seat.

Ms. Hicks-Hudson, who was appointed in January, promised to run in the primary election and the November general election in an effort to retain the seat for four full years.

"I will keep focusing on quality of life -- to improve the quality of life in the delivery of city services in District 4, which I think is my job," she said.

Ms. Hicks-Hudson is a 59-year-old Democrat and lawyer who has worked as a Lucas County assistant prosecutor, legislative director for Toledo City Council, and chief legal counsel for the Ohio Office of Budget and Management in the Strickland administration.

She attended Tuesday's regular council meeting but left early to watch election results at the Lucas County Democratic Party headquarters.

Ms. Hicks-Hudson said she had intended to vote against a Bell administration plan to open five pools in the city because it did not include one in the central city.

"I don't want to pit one part of the [city] against another but I find it interesting that [capital improvement] dollars can be found for one type of recreational project but not for this," she said.

She was referring to a proposal to use CIP money to buy and install a heating and cooling system at the Libbey High School fieldhouse, Skill Center, and football stadium. The city and the Toledo Board of Education have a tentative agreement for the city to buy those parts of the campus but not the 80-year-old main school on Western Avenue, which would be razed.

"Having recreational opportunities for kids in the summer time is critically important," she said.

Mr. Shankland, 65, owns a catering business and has run several times for council and also mayor but never won an election. Mr. Narvaez, a 19-year-old Republican, is a student at Lourdes College in Sylvania and was a first-time candidate.

Mr. Narvaez said he would run for the seat against Ms. Hicks-Hudson in the September primary.

"My main focus will be the continuance of violence in the neighborhoods and the continuance of tax and spend in the city of Toledo," he said.

Mr. Narvaez said Ms. Hicks-Hudson has voted in favor of spending money on unneeded things such as $26,738 for a bullet-proof glass enclosure for water department workers at the Ohio Building downtown.

"We are still having shootings, gang violence, and no results," he said.

Ms. Hicks-Hudson said the expense for the bullet-proof glass enclosure was justified to prevent violence against those workers.

"The information we received is that there were disgruntled customers and the employees were fearful," she said.

Mr. Shankland said he would not run for the seat this year.

The District 4 turnout -- like the rest of Lucas County -- was low Tuesday. Only 2 percent voted in the Toledo City Council District 4 election. Marty Limmer, information services manager with the Lucas County Board of Elections, said the morning rain probably kept people in.

Contact Ignazio Messina at: imessina@theblade.com or 419-724-6171.



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