The race for Lucas County recorder remained tight until the end between two veteran public servants.
Democrat Phil Copeland led Republican George Sarantou slightly with the majority of the county precincts reporting. Both candidates are currently at-large Toledo city councilmen barred by term limits from running for council in 2013.
Mr. Copeland, 67, of South Toledo, led the race most of the evening and said he was hopeful but not certain of victory. The winner will take over the recorder’s office from Democrat Jeanine Perry, who did not seek re-election.
“It’s been a good day for the Democrats, starting with Barack Obama down to the commissioners races,” said Mr. Copeland, when leading by about 10 percent. “Whenever they decide that I won, I’d like to go down and meet with Jeanine and the people there and learn the operation. I’ve been running an office for 30 years, maybe I can bring in some new ideas too.”
A labor union official, Mr. Copeland has pointed to his professional experience — nearly 30 years with Laborers Local 500 — to show knowledge of managing an office and maintaining records. He has served as the union’s business manager since 2007 after working as secretary-treasurer for 27 years.
Mr. Sarantou, 60, of West Toledo is a registered representative for New England Financial, a financial services firm. He said he has ideas for improvements, including electronic filing of documents if a secure system is financially feasible.
Mr. Sarantou could not be reached for comment late Tuesday night.
Certain Tuesday night was the race for treasurer. Retaining his office in One Government Center, where both Toledo and Lucas County government is conducted, was Democrat Wade Kapszukiewicz, who was first elected treasurer in 2004.
Mr. Kapszukiewicz, 39, of West Toledo soundly beat Republican challenger Norm Witzler, 65, of Waterville, a tradesman and former Waterville city councilman.
Mr. Kapszukiewicz said he plans to use his third term to continue to use the financial resources of the office to strengthen the community. In particular, he said another term would mean the continued growth of the county Land Bank, which acquires vacant and abandoned properties for either rehabilitation or demolition and so helps to preserve the property values of those residents in the area.
“It’s humbling to receive such a large percentage of the vote from the citizens of Lucas County,” Mr. Kapszukiewicz said. “I look forward to continuing to serve them by moving the Land Bank forward.”
Uncontested on the Lucas County ballot were Democrat John Tharp for sheriff and incumbent Democrat Keith Earley for engineer and incumbent Democrat James Patrick for coroner.
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