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Published: Thursday, 3/14/2013

Libertarian Konwinski plans to run for mayor

Covey says she’s a GOP candidate

BY TOM TROY
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Republican mayoral candidate Opal Covey and her cat Tink at home in Toledo. Republican mayoral candidate Opal Covey and her cat Tink at home in Toledo.
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Recently retired city employee Michael Konwinski on Tuesday announced his candidacy for Toledo mayor on the Libertarian Party ticket, and mayoral candidate Opal Covey has switched her political affiliation from independent to Republican.

Mr. Konwinski, 57, of West Bancroft Street, retired in December after 30 years with the city, including in water distribution, environmental services, and the finance department. When he retired, he was involved as an analyst in converting the city’s payroll from a third-party provider to an in-house software program, he said.

He said his goal would be to use his experience to lower the cost of city government, and ultimately the city payroll tax, by reducing unnecessary administrative and managerial positions and reorganizing some city divisions. “If we can cut costs, that makes Toledo more attractive to people to move here,” he said.

He received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Toledo in 1978.

“Whatever ails the city of Toledo can be traced to poor and ineffective middle management [workers], many of whom were promoted due to factors other than their managerial ability,” Mr. Konwinski said.

Emil Gravelle, Lucas County Libertarian Party chairman, said the party is “proud to support a candidate with such a detailed history and experience with the practical workings of the city of Toledo. It is time to reduce the size of government by refocusing on its core missions and eliminate waste. Michael Konwinski knows how.”

Ms. Covey, an evangelist and minister who says she is a prophetess of God, spoke Feb. 28 to the Greater Toledo Republican Club.

“It’s the better party. I prayed about it and God said, ‘run with it.’ They haven’t been in for a long time. I’m tired of Democratic rule. They’ve run our city down,” Ms. Covey told The Blade.

John Schulte, president-elect of the West Toledo Republican Club, said Ms. Covey spoke to about a dozen people. He said two people gave her donations for her campaign, but that the club does not make endorsements.

“She gave a pretty intelligent presentation,” Mr. Schulte said, saying she gave knowledgeable responses on questions about the city budget and talked about her plan to develop an amusement park in Promenade Park downtown to make Toledo a vacation hot spot.

Ms. Covey, 72, of Broadway in South Toledo has run for mayor three times before, earning her highest reported vote total, 384 votes out of 46,801 votes cast, in the 2001 primary.

Also announced as candidates in the mayoral election are independent city neighborhood department specialist Alan Cox, independent Mayor Michael Bell, and Democratic city councilman Joe McNa-mara.

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



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