Five Democrats have applied for the Lucas County Democratic Party’s backing for a vacancy appointment to City Council District 2, party Chairman Ron Rothenbuhler said Friday.
Among them is at-large Councilman Adam Martinez who said the chairman and others asked him to stay on until the May 6 election. Mr. Martinez, who narrowly lost his re-election bid last month, said last week he would not run for the seat because he would not have the time to devote to the job.
Also applying were Molly McHugh Branyan, 3526 Island Ave., who ran unsuccessfully in 2007; Karen Shanahan, 3633 Denise Dr., also an unsuccessful contender for the seat in 2007; Matt Cherry, 1649 Carmelle Ct., a business agent for Sheet Metal Workers Local 33, and another man whose name Mr. Rothenbuhler did not immediately recall.
The council seat will come open Jan. 2 when the current District 2 representative, independent D. Michael Collins, is sworn in as mayor. The remaining 11 members of council could vote that same meeting to select a replacement but have up to 30 days to make a choice.
Mr. Rothenbuhler said he is trying to convene the party’s screening committee before the end of the year. Democrats account for a majority of votes on council, so the Democratic Party's endorsement is expected to carry some weight.
Mr. Martinez, 35, of 2346 Winterset Dr. said the purpose of being a “placeholder” is to maintain continuity with the city budget while the candidates get some seasoning.
“They’ll have a couple months to campaign and learn it as they go. I’m willing to work with whoever wins to make sure there’s an easy transition and make sure I’m available to help introduce them to the business organizations, the nonprofit organizations,” Mr. Martinez said.
Ms. Shanahan, who was the first candidate to apply for the opening, questioned the need.
“There’s a lot going on in council right now and there is logic in requesting that Adam be selected to be on the seat,” Ms. Shanahan said. “But regardless of when a person ends up in the seat there is still a lot of learning that goes on, so whether it happens in January or in May, I don't see where the delay would be that beneficial.”
Also seeking the appointment and the seat, though not through the Democratic Party, is independent Marcia Helman, a business owner. She is backed by Republican at-large Councilman Rob Ludeman, who once held the District 2 seat that covers most of South Toledo.