Democratic Lucas County Auditor Anita Lopez has picked up a national endorsement from a pro-choice women's organization in her quest to become mayor of Toledo.
“Anita Lopez brings years of public service experience and an incredible work ethic to the table,” said Stephanie Schriock, president of EMILY’s List, in a news release. “She has already demonstrated her outstanding commitment to the people of Lucas County as auditor, where she provided tax relief for citizens. Anita’s experience as an effective leader makes her the right choice to create jobs and bring a responsive government to the mayor’s office."
A spokesman for the group declined to say how specific the group was in interviewing Ms. Lopez about her support of abortion rights.
Abortion has not previously surfaced as an issue in Toledo's mayoral race campaign but is an issue in the city. Toledo is on the verge of losing the last of two local abortion clinics because neither has obtained an emergency transfer agreement with a local hospital, a requirement under state health regulations.
Ms. Lopez is on the city's primary ballot Sept. 10, along with incumbent independent Mayor Mike Bell, Democrat City Councilman Joe McNamara, independent City Councilman D. Michael Collins, independent city employee union president Alan Cox, Libertarian retired city finance worker Michael Konwinski, and Democrat-turned-Republican Opal Covey, who says she is a "prophetess of God."
EMILY’s List calls itself the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, and has raised over $350 million to support pro-choice Democratic women candidates. The group says its endorsement gives Ms. Lopez access to its network of 2 million members.
The group is calling 2013 “Year of the Woman Mayor” and says Ms. Lopez is the ninth mayoral candidate it has endorsed. Also endorsed is Nan Whaley for mayor of Dayton. Ms. Lopez would be Toledo's first Latina mayor and its second woman mayor, after Republican Donna Owens who served from 1984 to 1990.