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7 candidates file in mayor’s race

18 seeking council seats meet deadline for Sept. 10 primary


Toledo City Councilman Joe McNamara files to run for mayor of Toledo at the Lucas County Board of Elections on Friday.

The Blade/Dave Zapotosky
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Seven candidates for mayor of Toledo and 18 candidates for Toledo City Council have filed candidate petitions as of the Friday afternoon deadline, ensuring there will be a primary election on Sept. 10 in Toledo.

Independent mayoral candidate Alan Cox, a neighborhood development specialist for the city of Toledo, was the last mayoral candidate to submit signatures, saying he was still working Friday afternoon on getting 950 signatures — enough to meet the minimum required number of 750 with a cushion of 200 in case of invalid signatures.

Mr. Cox issued a challenge to his fellow mayoral candidates, calling on them to emulate a mayor from more than a century ago, Samuel “Golden Rule” Jones, in their style of campaigning.

“His philosophy was you don’t go after someone else, you talk about what you have to offer,” Mr. Cox said.

Other mayoral candidates filing candidate petitions Friday were Democratic City Councilman Joe McNamara, Libertarian former city finance employee Michael Konwinski, and evangelist Opal Covey, who is listed in Lucas County voter records as a Democrat but who is running as a Republican.

Those four join independent Mayor Mike Bell, independent councilman D. Michael Collins, and Democratic county Auditor Anita Lopez, who filed petitions earlier in the week. Donald Gozdowski filed to run as a write-in.

The 18 candidates filing for City Council include Toledo school board member Larry Sykes and former Toledo Mayor Jack Ford, both Democrats, who filed Thursday, and former city smoking ban opponent Bill Delaney, a political independent.

Council candidates who filed Friday were Republican incumbent Councilman Rob Ludeman; Democratic incumbent Councilman Adam Martinez; Republican challengers James Nowak, James P. Martin, Joseph Celusta, and Alex Rivera, and Democrat Joshua Fowler. Mr. Celusta is a grandson of the late Ollie Czelusta, who was mayor in the 1950s. Joe Celusta’s father, the late John Celusta, dropped the “z” from his name.

Candidates who filed before Thursday for council are independents Theresa Gabriel and Sandy Spang; Republicans Alfonso Narvaez, Ernest McCarthy, and Ron Johns; Democratic incumbent councilmen Steven Steel and Shaun Enright, and Green candidate Sean Nestor.

Lucas County Republican Chairman Jon Stainbrook said the party will endorse a slate of six for council.

“We’re absolutely going to fight for as many open seats as we can. In the end it’s up to voters. We give them a choice and this is what you’re seeing,” Mr. Stainbrook said.

Neither the Democratic nor Republican political party has endorsed in the mayoral contest. Lucas County Democratic Chairman Ron Rothenbuhler said the party would endorse after the primary. Mr. Stainbrook said the GOP is not planning to endorse a candidate, but noted that many Republicans — including Gov. John Kasich — are supporting Mr. Bell.

Also filing were three candidates for Sylvania City Council — V. Mike Brown, Katie Cappellini, and Mary Westphal, and one candidate for Sylvania mayor, Craig Stough.

Candidates who filed for Toledo Municipal Court were Amy Berling for a term starting Jan. 2, 2014; and Gretchen DeBacker, Michael Goulding, Joseph Howe, Joshua Lanzinger, and Kenneth Phillips for a term starting Jan. 1, 2014.

The Lucas County Board of Elections must certify candidates who meet the signature requirements to get on the ballot. In Toledo, the two highest vote-getters for mayor and the 12 highest vote-getters for council will face off Nov. 5 in the general election.

During a Friday morning news conference, Mr. McNamara announced that he would be a mayor “who’s focused on creating jobs here,” and said that so far he’s the only one to have proposed a detailed economic development plan.

He said his plan includes doing a national search for a qualified department director, and said his plan calls for “investing in ourselves,” which would raise the overall standard of living in the city.

Contact Tom Troy at


or 419-724-6058.

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