Some leaders pushing Jack Ford for empty council seat

Former Toledo mayor Jack Ford.
Former Toledo mayor Jack Ford.

Several black leaders and a fellow former mayor lined up at the Lucas County Democratic Party's headquarters today to support Jack Ford for the soon-to-be-open seat on Toledo City Council.

"People may have counted him out but he still has plenty in the tank left," said Vince Davis, an insurance agent and Economic Opportunity Planning Association of Greater Toledo board member."I actually believe it is his mission and his desire to continue to serve the city of Toledo."

Nearly 40 people are seeking the appointment from a majority of council.

Five people interviewed earlier this month for the Lucas County Democratic Party's endorsement, which is expected to carry a heavy weight with most of the Democrats on council. The applicants for the party's nod were Mr. Ford; International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers’ union organizer Shaun Enright; Jason Schreiner, a 2011 city council candidate; Michael Dearth, a Block Watch leader, and Harold Mosley, a recently retired Toledo police officer and former sergeant-at-arms for council.

Mr. Ford, Toledo's first black mayor who served from January, 2002, to January, 2006, said he knows the process is keenly political and plans to run for the seat next year if he is not appointed to replace Councilman Phil Copeland, who is resigning his seat take his office as Lucas County Recorder.

The party’s executive committee will vote to endorse a candidate for city council’s approval Dec. 20.

Mr. Ford he is confident if selected he could start making a difference on the first day.

After five years on the Toledo Board of Education, the former Toledo mayor and state legislator said health concerns, which included nearly dying from diabetic complications in 2011, persuaded him to take a break, and he didn’t seek another school board term. He said his health has since improved and his is again teaching college courses.

Standing with him today were former Mayor Carty Finkbeiner, who defeated Mr. Ford in his attempt for a second term as mayor; Rev. Willie L. Perryman of Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church; Rev. Donald Perryman, pastor of Center of Hope Church; Art Jones, chairman of the board for Bethany House, a domestic violence shelter, and Pastor Cedric Brock, pastor of Mount Nebo Baptist Church on Detroit Avenue and president of the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance.