Anita Lopez speaks during an election rally today at Aurora Gonzalez Community Center as she announces she is running for mayor,
The Blade/Andy Morrison
Lucas County Auditor Anita Lopez launched her campaign for mayor today at a South Toledo community center, with promises to restore a declining city of Toledo.
If elected, she would be the second woman mayor, after Donna Owens, who was Republican mayor in the 1980s, and the first Hispanic woman as mayor.
She joins in the race current Mayor Mike Bell, an independent, Democrat Joe McNamara, a city councilman, and three others.
Without naming the current mayor, Ms. Lopez, a Democrat, criticized the city in terms of economic development, neighborhoods and safety.
"Recent leadership has ignored the serious problems" in Toledo's aging water system and she promised a full audit, adding "And I am just the person for that job."
Without offering a detailed plan, she promised to promote Toledo's work force to compete globally, and criticized the condition of the marina district, which has sat undeveloped after Mayor Bell sold the former city-owned property to Chinese investors in 2011 for $3.8 million.
"I've been waiting to see the job creation in the marina district that we were promised and I'm still waiting," Ms. Lopez said. "We cannot afford to sit idly by while some of our greatest assets are squandered away."
About 300 people turned out for announcement, creating the impression of a "people's campaign," something Ms. Lopez said she was hoping for.
Ms. Lopez, 43, said she grew up in the neighborhood, and got first job at age of 14 in the Aurora Gonzalez Community Center.
At that time, she said, it was the Boys and Girls Club of Toledo.