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Published: Wednesday, 8/1/2001

Candidates of every stripe certified for Sept. 11 ballot

BY FRITZ WENZEL
BLADE POLITICAL WRITER

The Lucas County board of elections yesterday certified 35 candidates for Toledo's Sept. 11 primary election ballot, including six who are running for mayor.

Fifteen others are running for six at-large seats on city council, including all six incumbents.

The six incumbent council members who hold district seats have been certified for the ballot, as have challengers in five of the districts. Democrat Wilma Brown of District 1 is the only candidate not facing a challenge.

The four-member elections board certified:

  • Democrats Jack Ford and Ray Kest, Republican Rick Grafing, and independents Opal Covey, Jim Harmon, and Armiya Khaleel Muhammed in the race for mayor of Toledo.

  • Democrats Louis Escobar, Peter Gerken, Perlean Griffin, Art Jones, Terry Shankland, Betty Shultz, Peter Ujvagi, and John Rust; Republicans Gene Zmuda, Matt Zaleski, George Sarantou, and Dennis Lange; and independents Raymond Johnston, Carol Buno, and Kwame Mu'Min in the race for at-large seats on Toledo council.

  • Democrat Wilma Brown in District 1; Republican Rob Ludeman and Democrat Ed Cichy in District 2; Democrat Bob McCloskey and write-in challenger Shawn Gill, a Republican, in District 3; Democrats Edna Brown and Scott Robinson in District 4; Democrat Tina Wozniak and Republican David Dmytryka in District 5, and Democrat Wade Kapszukiewicz and write-in candidate Patrick Desmond, a Republican, in District 6.

    Marie Sienkowski, a candidate for Toledo's District 5 seat, was the only person who filed petitions but failed to be certified. She failed to submit enough valid signatures on her candidate nomination petition, said Antoinette Szuch, director of the elections board.

    In the race for one of two seats up for election on the Toledo Municipal Court bench, incumbent Republican Amy Berling and challenger John Mattimoe, a Democrat, were certified. In the race for another seat, incumbent Democrat Arlene Singer was certified. She has no opponent.

    Several candidates in the city of Sylvania were certified for the ballot, including incumbent Mayor Craig Stough, a Republican, who is unopposed. Five candidates, including Republicans Reed Backus, Todd Milner, and Barbara Sears; independent John Spitler, and Democrat Charles Wechsel were certified in the race for three council seats.

    ----

    Shortly after he learned he made the ballot, Mr. Muhammed told reporters at a Government Center news conference that he was running - literally running - for mayor.

    The 26-year-old explained that he was jogging daily through different neighborhoods, and hoped to cover the entire city by the primary election. He said the political exercise routine has helped him learn about problems facing various parts of the city, and gives him a chance to chat with residents.

    “My approach shows a willingness to back into the neighborhoods of the city to listen to the citizens and put their ideas on the table,” he said. “This is about a renaissance of the neighborhood spirit, for each citizen to take ownership of their city. We are encouraging people to get out and meet their neighbors.”

    ----

    Mr. Kapszukiewicz met with some of his neighbors in District 6 yesterday, as he marked the official beginning of his re-election campaign.

    Speaking to 21 senior citizens at a meeting hall in Point Place, he promised to continue to pay attention to local needs. He touted the city's program to dredge part of the Ottawa River, and pledged to push for money for police and fire protection.



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