At his inaugural ball last night, Carty Finkbeiner focused on this year s upcoming election and the evening s surprise visitor, who waited patiently for Toledo s mayor.
I wanted to say hello to you Mr. Mayor, said U.S. Rep. Ted Strickland, the Democratic front-runner for governor.
Ted! said Mr. Finkbeiner, shifting attention away from the handshakes and hugs of the 450 people gathered at the Toledo Country Club.
I don t want to hold you up, Mr. Finkbeiner said.
I don t want to hold you up, said Mr. Strickland (D., Lucasville), emphasizing the you.
I want you to meet some of my guests, the mayor said.
Returned to Government Center with 68 percent of the vote in November, Mr. Finkbeiner campaigned for someone else during his own party.
As he guided Mr. Strickland to the clubhouse s ballroom, Mr. Finkbeiner introduced his prospective ally to his major supporters, who quoted Bible verses and pledged to support the congressman, a former pastor.
Before announcing Mr. Strickland to the crowd, the mayor stood in front of the ballroom s microphone and basked in his optimism.
We can become whatever we wish to become as a community, Mr. Finkbeiner said. That s not only Toledo. That s northwest Ohio and even our friend across the border, southeast Michigan.
Mr. Finkbeiner, who previously served as Toledo s mayor from 1994-2002, then made a request of his guests on behalf of the congressman.
I want all of you who are going to work for him to shake his hand, he said. Give his aides your name.
With that, Jean Holden sang an a cappella rendition of The Impossible Dream, a song from Man of La Mancha, a musical about Don Quixote, an old man who roamed the Spanish countryside pretending to be a knight. Good song, said Mr. Strickland.
Officially titled the Renaissance Inaugural, the event s tickets cost for $200 individuals and $300 for couples. Partygoers listened to local rock band Stacked Ham and ate a spread of chips, vegetables, and hummus. Fireworks were scheduled to end the night.
Amy Finkbeiner, the mayor s wife, had requested the band play Dion s Where or When for the couple s dance together.
This is the only song that Carty actully knows the lyrics to, said Mrs. Finkbeiner, who wore a purple dress embroidered with a silver floral pattern top.
In advance of the ball, Janet Albright, an Owens Corning executive, hosted a party for Mr. Finkbeiner at the downtown loft apartment she shares with her husband, Richard Rideout. Tickets for that party cost $1,000 for individuals and $1,500 for couples.
The parties will pay down the $83,298 debt from Mr. Finkbeiner s campaign. Bob Reinbolt, who managed Mr. Finkbeiner s victory, estimated that the events generated in execess of $100,000.
Guests arrived in tuxedoes and gowns, eschewing the jeans and khakis many wore as campaign volunteers. Former city council candidate Terry Shankland came without his trademark fedora.
One them is in the car, and one of them is at home, he said. But I do have clean underwear on tonight.
Partisan tensions were limited to lingering football rivalries.
City Council President Rob Ludeman, a Republican, wore a scarlet vest and tie to support Ohio State University. Mr. Finkbeiner roots for the University of Michigan.
Mr. Ludeman said he looked forward to working with the mayor on the development of a marina district, the restoration of Westgate Shopping Center and Southwyck Center, and the possible expansion of General Motor s power train factory.
I have two years left on my term, so it s not a political thing, he said. It s let s do the best for the city of Toledo.
Contact Joshua Boak at: email@example.com or 419-724-6728.