Lucas County Democratic Treasurer Wade Kapszukiewicz, who mulled a run for Toledo mayor this year, announced Thursday he will stay out of the race and instead endorse the incumbent Democrat, Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson.
He made the announcement at the Lucas County Democratic Party executive committee meeting.
The party quickly endorsed Ms. Hicks-Hudson Thursday, one day after she officially announced her candidacy. The party endorsement usually includes a vetting process and screening interviews but did not for Ms. Hicks-Hudson.
Mr. Kapszukiewicz, 42, said endorsing Mayor Hicks-Hudson was appropriate.
“I finally had a chance to sit down with the mayor today ... and coming out of that conversation I feel she is the right person to lead the city at this time,” he said.
He made the motion to endorse Ms. Hicks-Hudson, 63, which the committee approved without dissension. She said she was pleasantly surprised.
“I am grateful to Wade for his action and his support,” she said.
Mayor Hicks-Hudson announced Wednesday in a North Toledo park that she would seek to be elected to the office she has held since Mayor D. Michael Collins suffered a cardiac arrest and later died in February.
As city council president at the time, Ms. Hicks-Hudson became mayor, which is mandated by city charter. She will remain mayor until at least November, when an election will be held for the remaining two years in the late Mayor Collins’ term. There will be no primary.
Sandy Drabik, wife of the late mayor, said she is “deep into the exploration about the possibility” of launching her own campaign to “carry out Mike’s platform and finish Mike’s work that he has already started and continue in the way he was proceeding.”
She said on Wednesday she emailed supporters of her late husband.
“I asked them for their opinion on should I run and if I did would they support me,” said Ms. Drabik, 67, a Republican and retired lawyer.
She was by her husband’s side for his 2013 mayoral campaign and helped plan the successful strategy that helped get him elected.
Theresa Gabriel, an independent on Toledo City Council, said she is considering a mayoral bid but has not made a decision.
Opal Covey, a Republican who has made bids for mayor in the past as an independent, has officially announced her intention to run again. She ran unsuccessful campaigns in 2001, 2005, 2009, and 2013.