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CTY rossfordvotes05p People cast their ballots November 5, 2013 at the Rossford Board of Education Bulldog Hall in Rossford.
People cast their ballots November 5, 2013 at the Rossford Board of Education Bulldog Hall in Rossford.
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Published: Tuesday, 11/5/2013 - Updated: 11 months ago

Collins defeats incumbent Toledo Mayor Bell

Enright, Sykes lose on City Council

BLADE STAFF

D. Michael Collins, center, looks over the shoulders of Robert Reinbolt,, left, and Christopher Fofrich, right, while waiting for the returns to start coming in at an election viewing party at the Teamster's Local 20 Hall on Tuesday. D. Michael Collins, center, looks over the shoulders of Robert Reinbolt,, left, and Christopher Fofrich, right, while waiting for the returns to start coming in at an election viewing party at the Teamster's Local 20 Hall on Tuesday.
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With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Councilman D. Michael Collins won the mayor's race in Toledo over incumbent Mayor Mike Bell, 56.5-43.5 percent.

The unofficial vote was 28,002 for Mr. Collins and 21,535 for Mr. Bell. Turnout was 25.4 percent of registered voters in the city.

The final unofficial winners of six at-large council seats were Republican incumbent Rob Ludeman, former Mayor and unendorsed Democrat Jack Ford, independent Sandy Spang, Democratic incumbent Steven Steel, independent Theresa Gabriel, and Democratic incumbent Adam Martinez.

Narrowly edged out were unendorsed Democrat Larry Sykes and appointed Democratic incumbent Shaun Enright, followed by independent Bill Delaney, Republican James Nowak, Green Sean Nestor, and Republican Joseph Celusta.

The gap between the sixth top vote-getter, Mr. Martinez, and Mr. Sykes was only 39 votes.

In the face of defeat, Mayor Bell said he had no regrets - particularly concerning his dealing with unions and support of anti-union laws like Senate Bill 5 in 2011 and Right to Work, as well as forced concessions on city unions in 2010.

City Council Votes:

Joseph Celusta: 9190, 4.21%

Bill Delaney: 13500, 6.18%

Shaun Enright: 18695, 8.56%

Jack Ford: 25081, 11.48%

Theresa M. Gabriel: 19274, 8.82%

Rob Ludeman: 27038, 12.38%

Adam J. Martinez: 19202, 8.79%

Sean Nestor: 9224, 4.22%

James Nowak: 13195, 6.04%

Sandy Spang: 23690, 10.85%

Steven C. Steel: 21177, 9.70%

Larry J. Sykes: 19163, 8.77

"My job was to fix the city and I have done that," Mayor Bell said. "We had a $48 million deficit and we no longer have that. We have a rainy day fund. I wouldn't do it any different."

Mayor Bell's election night party roared hours before the results were known - many jubilant and confident that the incumbent would be reelected for another four years.

Early results showing him behind did not shake Mayor Bell's confidence or drag down the mood of his supporters. But the mood turned south just before 11 p.m.

Nonetheless, the crowd started cheering "We want Mike" despite the results.

It is believed that only about one quarter of the city’s registered voters turned out in today’s election.

Cheers of Mayor Collins rang out as 70 percent of precincts were counted.

Taking the stage shortly before that, Mr. Collins said Toledo helped Mr. Bell keep his word.

"You made him an honest man - he said he'd only serve one term," Mr. Collins said to an ecstatic crowd.

Tina Scott, a campaign volunteer, said the lead wasn't surprising and was the result of a lot of phone calls and door-to-door visits.

"This hard work is paying off," she said before starting a chant of Mr. Collins' name.

Toledo resident Twanda Harris said she felt good about Mr. Collins' chances as supporters sipped beer and ate pizza at a party being held at the Teamsters Hall in South Toledo.

"I think we need change and someone that supports the unions," she said.

Mayor Bell's election night party roared hours before the results were known.

The incumbent mayor arrived at the downtown restaurant Table 44 just after 9 p.m. and was greeted with applause and cheers by the crowd of about 200.

He was upbeat and smiling while hugging dozens of supporters - many of whom had tears in their eyes.

"I said the last election That if you do right things to fix this city, you could end up being a one-term mayor, Well I think I am right on course," Mayor Bell said to the remaining crowd at his election night party. "I have absolutely no regrets on anything I did."

The gathering was a veritable who's who of the Bell administration and Toledo's business community.

Campaign consultant Mark Luetke, left, confers with Toledo Mayor Mike Bell during election night party at Table 44 in Toledo on Tuesday. Campaign consultant Mark Luetke, left, confers with Toledo Mayor Mike Bell during election night party at Table 44 in Toledo on Tuesday.
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Dean Kaplan, executive vice president of K. Limited, a trucking company, said the mayor is pro-business and forward thinking.

"He understands the real issues," Mr. Kaplan said. "He balanced the budget. The perfect example he has given is Detroit. We could have easily fallen into the same pit."

Developer Brian McMahon, who butted heads with former Mayor Carty Finkbeiner, was also at the Bell party.

"Mayor Bell has quietly been the best regional mayor in my lifetime," Mr. McMahon said. "Even before he got elected, he was attending meetings in Wood County.... He is trying to build relations with the suburbs because that is where Toledo has its joint economic development agreements."



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