TOLEDO MAYORAL RACE

Mayoral candidates squared off today

9/4/2013
BLADE STAFF
Mayoral candidates Anita Lopez, Mayor Mike Bell, D. Michael Collins and Joe McNamara  during debate at Channel 13 ABC News in Toledo, Ohio.
Mayoral candidates Anita Lopez, Mayor Mike Bell, D. Michael Collins and Joe McNamara during debate at Channel 13 ABC News in Toledo, Ohio.

Four candidates for mayor in Tuesday's primary election will face off today in a live televised debate on WTVG-TV, Channel 13, and co-hosted by media partner The Blade.

The debate will include incumbent Mayor Mike Bell, an independent, and challengers Toledo Councilman D. Michael Collins, also an independent, and Lucas County Auditor Anita Lopez and Councilman Joe McNamara, both Democrats.

Three of the candidates said they prepared for the debate today by having staffers firing possible questions. Lopez spokesman Diane May declined to reveal what Ms. Lopez did to get ready for the event.

The debate, set for 7 to 8 p.m., calls for candidates to face questions from a panel of journalists, including Blade politics writer Tom Troy, WTVG politics reporter Bill Hormann, and WTVG anchorman Lee Conklin. WTVG anchorman Diane Larson will moderate the debate. It will be conducted in WTVG's studios without a live audience.

The debate can be seen on The Blade's Web site, www.toledoblade.com. WTVG will scroll Twitter comments across the bottom of the screen during the debate. The Twitter hashtag is #13abcDebate.

Not included in the one-hour forum were three additional candidates whose names will appear on the ballot — independent Alan Cox, Libertarian Michael Konwinski, and unendorsed Republican Opal Covey — and the certified write-in candidate, Donald Gozdowski.

The two highest vote-getters in the primary election will go on to the Nov. 5 general election.

Seven candidates for mayor of Toledo and the 17 candidates running for seats on Toledo City Council have been invited to a Meet the Candidates night Thursday in Point Place. The event will be held from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Friendship Park Community Center, 2930 131st St. in Point Place. Candidates will be introduced at 7 p.m. and will be given a chance to tell voters their platform. The top 12 vote getters in the council race will then go on to the Nov 5. general election, with the top six winning election.