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Kapszukiewicz celebrates 2nd-place finish, moves on to general election

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    Toledo mayoral candidate Wade Kapszukiewicz, left, greets supporter Daniel Brown-Martinez at Mr. Kapszukiewicz's election night watch party Tuesday at the Gardner Building in downtown Toledo. Dozens of supporters and volunteers came to wait for election results in the mayoral primary.

    THE BLADE/KATIE RAUSCH
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    A calendar counting down the days to the primary election hangs in the headquarters of the campaign to elect Toledo mayoral candidate Wade Kapszukiewicz Tuesday at the Gardner Building in downtown Toledo. Dozens of supporters and volunteers came together to wait for election results at the campaign headquarters.

    THE BLADE/KATIE RAUSCH
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  • wade12p

    A roll of stickers joined literature at the headquarters of the campaign to elect Toledo mayoral candidate Wade Kapszukiewicz Tuesday at the Gardner Building in downtown Toledo. Dozens of supporters and volunteers came together to wait for election results at the campaign headquarters.

    THE BLADE/KATIE RAUSCH
    Buy This Image

Mayoral candidate Wade Kapszukiewicz told an excited group of supporters Tuesday night that he will be moving on to the general election in November to face Toledo Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson.

"Enough results have come in that we can now say that tonight Toledo took the first step toward becoming the city we all know it can be," he said. "There is a lot of work to be done between now and November, but these results have told us that Toledo has heard our message of change.”

Joined by his wife, Sarah, and children, 13-year-old Emma and 11-year-old Will, he thanked campaign volunteers, friends and other supporters at his downtown campaign headquarters in the Gardner Building, 500 Madison Ave.

"Thank you everyone for being here tonight, thank you for being here the last several months," he said. "So many of you in this room have knocked on doors, labeled mail, made phone calls, walked with huge balloons in parades. For that I could not be more appreciative."

In his speech, Mr. Kapszukiewicz, who is Lucas County Treasurer and a Democrat, laid out a series of issues that he would focus on in the general election, including the city's finances, health of Lake Erie, improved parks and green space, and neighborhood safety.

WATCH: Wade Kapszukiewicz celebrates with supporters

With the early votes, absentee votes, and all precincts reporting, Mr. Kapszukiewicz was in second place out of four candidates. His 8,350 votes trailed endorsed Democrat and incumbent Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson’s 9,686 votes, but put him ahead of endorsed Republican Councilman Tom Waniewski’s 6,659 votes, self-proclaimed Prophetess Opal Covey’s 199.

Mr. Kapszukiewicz said Toledo is hungry for change, and after the primary, he is the only option. Citing his history balancing Lucas County’s budget for 12 years as treasurer, he said he believes he can appeal to Mr. Waniewski’s supporters looking for fiscal responsibility. 

Mr. Kapszukiewicz said he spent the day making last minute phone calls urging people to get out and vote.Shortly after polls closed Tuesday night, supporters and campaign volunteers arrived to eat and drink while waiting for news.  

Hoping for an early evening was Phil Moline, 35, who completed a 24-hour shift with the Toledo Fire Department before handing out literature and holding signs in support of Mr. Kapszukiewicz outside three polling locations Tuesday.

WATCH: Wade Kapszukiewicz’s comments throughout election night

Mr. Moline said he supports the candidate because of his fiscal experience and message of improving city services. 

“I like new blood in the city,” he said. “Yes, he’s been a county treasurer but the city is suffering from a lack of a blood transfusion.”

Volunteer Cathy Cummings, 64, of North Toledo, said she felt positive based on the conversations she had with voters while making phone calls for the campaign. 

She said she heard a desire for change, and believes Mr. Kapszukiewciz brings that.

“Even the older people I talked to want a change too,” she said. “They feel Toledo needs to step up.” 

Contact Lauren Lindstrom at llindstrom@theblade.com, 419-724-6154, or on Twitter @lelindstrom.

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