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Published: Friday, 2/1/2013

Likely mayoral hopefuls report campaign finances

BY TOM TROY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Democrat Joe McNamara leads Mayor Mike Bell and Lucas County Auditor Anita Lopez in fund-raising for the 2013 mayoral campaign, according to campaign finance reports filed Thursday.

Mr. McNamara, president of Toledo Council and an undeclared candidate for mayor, reported $57,258 in contributions during the preceding six months, most of it in December, and $69,524 remaining in his account Dec. 31. He spent $7,854, with more than half going to campaign consulting.

Mr. McNamara said he has been holding listening sessions to assess community concerns.

“I’m definitely going to run for a municipal race. Certainly fund-raising is important to any race you want to win, but not the only thing,” Mr. McNamara said. “While I’'m very heart-warmed by the support I’ve gotten, every election is about connecting with the voters, and telling them what you’re going to do to improve the city.”

Ms. Lopez, who also has not declared herself a candidate for mayor, raised $27,745 during the period and ended with $47,209 in her account. She spent $5,801, the largest amount being $1,200 for food for a fund-raiser.

She contributed $500 to Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Myron Duhart's campaign and $500 to the Toledo Public Schools levy campaign.

Ms. Lopez refused to comment on when she might either make her candidacy official or bow out.

“At this time I am listening to my constituents, business leaders, and many individuals in the community with their concerns. There are numerous individuals from every background that are concerned about the state of the city,” Ms. Lopez said.

She said her account’s money largely was raised during her annual December fund-raiser and came from a diverse range of sources in the county.

Mayor Bell, a political independent who became the first major 2013 candidate to declare on Monday, reported contributions totaling $11,340 during the period and spending of $10,730, ending with $46,701 in his campaign account.

He said he had yet to hold a re-election fund-raiser during his term because he was unsure if he would run, although he did have fund-raisers aimed primarily at other causes.

“I didn’t know I was running for anything until Monday. I have not aggressively pursued fund-raising the whole time I've been mayor. Now that we have to start focusing on the campaign, we will,” Mr. Bell said.

Mr. McNamara’s report shows 207 contributions ranging from $6.94 up to $2,000 from individuals, many of them fellow lawyers. His campaign also collected $10,000 from the Dunn for State Representative committee.

Mr. McNamara also got money from some prominent Democrats, including $1,180 from James Ruvolo, a former county and state Democratic chairman; and $1,000 each from Lucas County Commissioner Carol Contrada and unsuccessful 2009 mayoral contender Keith Wilkowski. Mr. McNamara's campaign paid $4,909 to 3PG Consulting, a political consulting company in Denver.

Ms. Lopez’s recent fund-raising shows strong construction union support.

She got $5,000 from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers political action committee in Washington; $2,000 each from Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 50, Sheet Metal Workers Local 33, and the Northwestern Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council; $1,000 each from Teamsters Local 20 and the International Association of Heat and Frost Workers Local 45; $330 from Ironworkers Local 55; $120 from the Toledo Firefighters union, and $80 from Laborers Local 500.

Mayor Bell’s expenses report showed a $2,000 contribution to the failed campaign to create a recreation levy in Toledo, $1,500 to Creadio of Toledo for professional services, $1,240 for a fund-raising event at the Maumee Bay Brewing Co., and $1,000 each to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Ohio, Auto Dealers United for Kids, African American Legacy Project, and Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church.

His largest contributors include building contractor William Rudolph, who gave $1,000; the Ohio Contractors political action committee, $1,000; and Republic Services Inc. employees political action committee, $500.

In 2009, Mr. Bell raised and spent $294,048 to defeat Mr. Wilkowski, who spent $414,843.

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



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