Just days before the election, Toledo's two mayoral candidates rubbed elbows today with constituents at various events across the city.
Challenger D. Michael Collins, a city councilman, rallied about two dozen union members at the Toledo Police Patrolman Association's building near downtown this morning, while his opponent, Mayor Mike Bell, mixed with attendees at the Caregiver Expo at Parkway Plaza in Maumee.
"We have made this march together, and we will continue that pursuit," Mr. Collins told union members. "We will march to victory on Tuesday because of you."
At the TPPA rally, union leaders framed Tuesday's mayoral election as the first fight against a Republican push for Right to Work legislation in Ohio, which would undermine union strength in workplaces. Mr. Bell has expressed neutrality on the matter.
Ray Wood, president of United Auto Workers Local 14 who was recently selected as president of the local chapter of the NAACP, said labor supports those who supports them.
"Let's support Michael Collins. He supports us," Mr. Wood said.
Mr. Collins said he had planned to do some door-to-door campaigning as well, but canceled that because of the rain.
Mr. Bell said the expo, an event co-sponsored by the Area Office on Aging and The Blade, is one of many type of events he attends as mayor, and said it's no different than political campaigning.
"Anytime you walk you're campaigning. I don't know how you can separate the two," he said, as took turns shaking hands and having his picture taken with people at the Expo.
The Expo was advertised in the Area Office on Aging's 10-county service area.
Mr. Bell said he sees no point in political rallies with the election only three days away. However, he said he has volunteers who are making telephone calls and knocking on doors with campaign literature.
"Most people have probably figured out what they're going to do," Mr. Bell said.
Mr. Bell's activities for the rest of today, even though not purely political, were to bring him in contact with voters. Those include an event welcoming a new pastor to Phillips Temple on Palmwood Avenue, a funeral, and a University of Toledo football home game.
His plans for Sunday include stops at several central city churches, and a return to Parkway Plaza for the 25th Anniversary of Anne Grady Foundations banquet.
Mr. Collins was attending Muslim Youth Activism Day later today at Al-Madinah Community Center, 3151 Chollett Rd., and the Greater AFL-CIO Dinner tonight at the Premier Banquet Complex at 4480 Heatherdowns.
He had plans to do some door-to-door campaigning Sunday.
Note: The "Al-Madinah Community Center" was previously misidentified as "New Connecting Point." The Blade regrets the error.
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