2 Democratic commissioners re-elected in Lucas County

Gerken, Skeldon Wozniak appear to gain wide margins for 3rd terms

11/7/2012
BY KATE GIAMMARISE
BLADE STAFF WRITER
CTY teamsters07p   11/06/2012   The Blade/Lori King   Supporters of the Democratic Party celebrate their party winners at the Teamsters Union Hall in  Toledo,  Ohio.
CTY teamsters07p 11/06/2012 The Blade/Lori King Supporters of the Democratic Party celebrate their party winners at the Teamsters Union Hall in Toledo, Ohio.

Two Lucas County commissioners, both Democrats, appeared to retain their seats by wide margins.

Pete Gerken and Tina Skeldon Wozniak were both elected to what will be their third terms in office, according to early unofficial results from the Lucas County Board of Elections.

Gerken
Gerken

With just over 49 percent of precincts reporting, Ms. Wozniak had a solid lead of 59 percent over Republican challenger Brent McCormack at 27 percent and Sylvania Township Trustee Kevin Haddad, who ran with no party affiliation, at 13 percent.

In the other race, Mr. Gerken looks to have beat out Republican John Marshall, a retiree, Air Force veteran, and former small-business owner by a margin of about 64 percent to 35 percent.

Wozniak
Wozniak

“I think the Board of County Commissioners is on the right track with solving our community's problems,” Ms. Wozniak said Tuesday night, speaking from the Teamsters Local 20 hall in South Toledo, where many Democrats had gathered to watch election returns come in.

Ms. Wozniak, 57,a former social worker, had said work on such issues as the merger of the Lucas County Job and Family Services agency with the Lucas County Child Support Enforcement Agency, county efforts in foreclosure prevention and the college coach program, which works with the families of elementary school students to emphasize the importance of a college education, were major accomplishments, in addition to balancing the county's budget.

First-time candidate Mr. McCormack, 31, was very upbeat late Tuesday night, despite an apparent loss.

“I'm happy with the turnout,” said the Republican contender, speaking from Packo's at the Park in downtown Toledo.

“I'm just honored that people are turning out and voting for me.” He said he hoped to run for public office again.

“This isn't the last you'll see of me,” he said.

Mr. Haddad, 57, could not be reached for comment. He had proposed regionalization measures for greater savings. One plan would include a public employee health-care plan of all public entities in the county including cities, schools, townships, TARTA, and the Toledo Zoo.

Surrounded by supporters at the Teamsters hall, Mr. Gerken, 60, stated, “I want to thank the voters of Lucas County. We've been through an extremely difficult time. ... I want to thank the voters for letting me lead in good times as well as bad.”

Mr. Gerken had touted his last four years on the job — citing balancing the county's budget, settling union contracts, downsizing county government while maintaining services and the opening of the Huntington Center — during the campaign.

Mr. Marshall said his campaign would focus on bringing jobs to Lucas County. The two candidates were former co-workers; Mr. Marshall briefly worked as a supervisor at Jeep during a time when Mr. Gerken was a union steward at the plant.

Mr. Marshall, 59, could not be reached Tuesday night.

Contact Kate Giammarise at: kgiammarise@theblade.com or 419-724-6091, or on Twitter @KateGiammarise.