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Published: Wednesday, 1/12/2005

Pair take steps to run for Perrysburg mayor

Months before the filing deadline, two potential candidates - including the former Perrysburg police chief - have taken out petitions to run for mayor of Perrysburg.

Nelson D. Evans, who served more than 25 years with the Perrysburg police division, took out petitions from the Wood County Board of Elections on Monday.

Matt Hawkins, a Perrysburg resident and graduate student at Bowling Green State University, got his forms from the elections board last month.

Candidates for mayor must submit petitions with no fewer than 82 signatures by July 5.

"I wanted to let people know I'm running because there'd been a lot of rumors," Mr. Evans said. "I think the city needs a change in leadership."

Mr. Evans retired as police chief in September, 2003. He now works for Northwest Controls, an electrical supply company headquartered in Defiance.

His last year as police chief was marked by controversy.

Mr. Evans was suspended for a day without pay for inattention to disciplinary regulations, and allegedly failing to inform the city administrator of the investigation of a police officer for inappropriately drawing a weapon.

Also, Mr. Evans was not invited to a groundbreaking ceremony for the new police station. City officials said it was an oversight, but some residents claimed city administrators were retaliating against Mr. Evans because Perrysburg police arrested Mayor Jody Holbrook's son on drug charges.

Mr. Evans said he plans to begin collecting signatures for his candidacy soon.

Mr. Hawkins said he has not started collecting signatures, but is certain he wants to run for mayor. He is a 1996 graduate of Perrysburg High School and has bachelor's degrees in marketing and political science.

"I think the main thing I can offer is that I understand how everything is interconnected," Mr. Hawkins said. "Growth affects education and the city budgets, and I see how that fits."

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