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Theresa M. Gabriel, a former top administrator in the Carty Finkbeiner administration, will kick off a campaign for Toledo City Council today, she said Monday.
Ms. Gabriel, who started working for the city of Toledo in 1963, had been pondering a run for mayor.
“I feel that I can better support the city of Toledo by running for an at-large city council position,” she said. “Seniors need and deserve a voice on City Council, and I want to be that voice.” She is 76.
Ms. Gabriel, a longtime Republican, plans to run as an independent to emphasize her intent to represent everyone, she said, and will resign from the Lucas County Republican Party's executive and central committees.
"I still have a lot to offer. I spent a majority of my time working for the city of Toledo and I decided to take it to the next level," said Ms. Gabriel, of 1205 Independence Road.
She said she would take out petitions to run for council at the Lucas County Board of Elections office this morning.
Candidates will run in a nonpartisan primary Sept. 10 for six at-large seats. The top 12 vote-getters will move on to a run-off election in November.
Her city positions included director of human resources and assistant chief of staff. She retired in 2002 and returned after Carty Finkbeiner was re-elected mayor in 2005. She is a former clerk of Toledo Municipal Court and has served in a variety of community organizations. Ms. Gabriel said she has 30 years of experience with organized labor, including having served as president of AFSCME Local 2058.
She also cited her more than 20 years of business experience, including former ownership of the Peacock Cafe bar on Monroe Street and rental properties.
Ms. Gabriel said she is frustrated with a lack of attention to neighborhood issues, such as what she said has been the use of capital improvement funds for non-capital projects, safety, and "lack of small business support."
On the ballot are seats now held by Democrats Adam Martinez, Steve Steel, Joe McNamara, and Shaun Enright and Republicans George Sarantou and Rob Ludeman. Mr. Martinez, Mr. Steel, and Mr. Ludeman are seeking re-election, and Mr. Enright is seeking election to the seat that he won by appointment. Mr. McNamara is running for mayor rather than council and Mr. Sarantou is barred by term limits from running again.
Other candidates who have announced include South Toledo businesswoman Sandy Spang, an independent, and former Toledo Mayor Jack Ford, a Democrat.
Contact Tom Troy at email@example.com or 419-724-6058.