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After first saying she would run as a Republican and then briefly seeking Democratic support, South Toledo businessman Marcia Helman declared Tuesday she would run for the Toledo City Council District 2 vacancy as an independent.
Ms. Helman, 63, owner of the Lickity Split ice cream store, 2021 Glendale Ave., announced her candidacy at the Walbridge Park shelter house amid supporters.
“I’m running as an independent, truly. I want to work with small business in South Toledo, and help Toledo get to be a more business-friendly environment,” Ms. Helman said. She also said that revitalizing the former Southwyck Shopping Center area would be a major concern of hers.
Ms. Helman of 2225 Townley Rd. is a member of the Toledo Arts Commission and the Walbridge Park board. She has operated the ice cream store for 31 years. Ms. Helman said she was born and raised in the district, which encompasses most of South Toledo.
She is one of several people who have been mentioned for the District 2 council seat, which will become vacant on Jan. 2 when Councilman D. Michael Collins resigns to take the oath as mayor.
City Council must vote to fill the vacancy within 30 days after Jan. 2, after which the appointment becomes the mayor’s responsibility. Ms. Helman said she would run in the May 6 primary to decide who serves the rest of Mr. Collins’s four-year term, whether she gets the appointment or not.
Ms. Helman initially said she would run as a Republican. She said she applied for the Lucas County Democratic Party screening but changed her mind and decided to run as an independent.
According to her voting record, Ms. Helman voted as a Republican in 2002 and as a Democrat in 2006 and 2008. She did not vote in partisan primaries in 2010 or 2012.
She attributed her indecision about whether to seek Republican or Democrat backing to being politically naive.
Councilman Rob Ludeman said he agreed to support Ms. Helman and be her campaign chairman if she ran as an independent but that, as an elected Republican central committee member, he could not chair the campaign of an endorsed Democrat.
“I’ll chair her campaign, she’ll run as an independent, and she'll win,” Mr. Ludeman said.
Karen Shanahan, who is retired from the trucking industry and ran unsuccessfully for council in 2005 and 2007, has applied for the Democratic endorsement.