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Published: 5/20/2004

Fund-raiser marks Ford's 57th birthday

BY FRITZ WENZEL
BLADE POLITICAL WRITER

Toledo Mayor Jack Ford hosted a political fund-raiser last night to mark his 57th birthday, offering about 200 friends and supporters strawberries and broccoli spears in exchange for about $70,000 he will use in his re-election campaign next year.

He also offered the first campaign pledges of the 2005 election year during the event at the Radisson Hotel downtown.

"I will work as hard as I can on your behalf, trying to look at your tax dollars in a prudent fashion, be responsible, try to nudge the city ahead, because that is part of it too. Try to work with our workforce, 2,800 strong. Deal with all the constituencies. Deal with all the issues that come up, and I'm going to do that every day, all the way through," Mr. Ford said.

Introducing his wife, Cynthia, the mayor said she has been an active member of the community, and deserves another four years as the city's First Lady.

"She likes getting out there and telling the world about what she believes in. Actually, next year when they line up the candidates against me, she's really the only one I worry about," the mayor said.

Terry Anderson, a former Associated Press reporter who spent seven years as a hostage of Shiite militants in Lebanon in the 1980s and who is now running for a seat in the state Senate from southern Ohio, made an appearance at the fund-raiser for the mayor.

Now a small businessman who said he runs a horse ranch with his brother, Mr. Anderson said Democrats must work to take back control of Ohio's state and local governments.

"What [this year's elections are] about is leadership, and the lack thereof. We have had the same people in charge of this state for 12 years," he said. "That is the reason we are in the mess we are in. That is the reason we don't have any new solutions being offered to us" to address problems with such things as education funding and spiraling health care costs.

Mr. Anderson has toured the state making appearances with Democratic candidates for seats in the General Assembly, making fund-raising pitches for his own campaign along the way.

Sandy Isenberg, the new chairman of the Lucas County Democratic Party, was among about a dozen Democratic officeholders or officials to attend the Ford event. Her appearance, she said, was a symbolic gesture to show Mr. Ford and others that she is intent on unifying the party.

Contact Fritz Wenzel at:

fritz@theblade.com

or 419-724-6134.



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