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Toledo Councilman and former Mayor Jack Ford filed today as an independent candidate to run for the state Senate against incumbent state Sen. Edna Brown (D., Toledo).
Mr. Ford, 66, turned in signature petitions at the Lucas County Board of Elections to appear on the fall ballot for the Senate District 11 seat. Today is the deadline for independent candidates to file signature petitions.
Mr. Ford, a former city mayor, state representative, and Toledo school board member, was elected to an at-large council seat last November. Though he is a longtime Democrat, he ran for council last year without asking for the party's endorsement.
Ms. Brown, 74, is seeking election to a second term. She previously served on city council and in the state House of Representatives.
Mr. Ford said he wanted to run to give Toledo a more aggressive advocate in Columbus. He said today that he will focus on the heroin problem, the Great Lakes, and foster care.
He said he has an "eclectic" group of supporters who helped him collect more than 2,300 signatures.
"People are looking for an independent voice, " he said.
He said it boggles his mind that Democrats in the House of Representatives recently voted to abolish future joint economic development districts.
"We need some folks to be very diligent down there," he said.
Among his supporters today were former Mayor Carty Finkbeiner and independent Toledo councilman Theresa Gabriel.
Because Tuesday's election is for partisan primary nominations, Ford’s name will not appear on the ballot. Ms. Brown is on the ballot for the Democratic Party nomination against Ernest McCarthy who is seeking the Republican nomination.
The Senate district includes Toledo, Maumee, and Oregon, as well as Springfield, Washington, and Jerusalem townships.