D. Michael Collins
The Blade/Dave Zapotosky
Mayoral candidate D. Michael Collins, a political independent who edged out two Democrats to face incumbent Mike Bell at the polls in November, was endorsed today by the United Automobile Workers.
The union's leaders announced the endorsement during a news conference at UAW Region 2B headquarters in Maumee.
Mr. Collins, a retired Toledo police officer and current member of the Toledo City Council, was endorsed before the Sept. 10 nonpartisan primary by Toledo's two largest public safety unions - the Toledo Police Patrolman's Association and Toledo Firefighters Local 92.
Mr. Collins was president of the police patrolman's union for 10 years and was an outspoken opponent of Senate Bill 5/Issue 2 in 2011, the bill that would have weakened public employee union's ability to bargain collectively. It was defeated in a referendum after a campaign in which Local 92 was one of the most active opponents.
Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern and unions have fervently and openly opposed Mayor Bell since he endorsed Senate Bill 5.
Mr. Redfern was in Toledo recently to rally Democrats against the re-election of Mayor Bell.
Mr. Redfern met with elected officials, candidates, and other Democrats at Michaels Bar & Grill downtown - in place of a fund-raiser that was supposed to be planned for the party's candidate for mayor.
There is no Democratic candidate for mayor -- first time at least since 1965 and probably for many years before that as well.
"I cannot tell you who you should support for mayor of Toledo. I can surely tell you who not to support, and that gentleman's name is Mike Bell," Redfern said.
The Toledo Fire Chiefs’ Association endorsed Mayor Bell in June.