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Published: Friday, 3/24/2006

4 vie for council seat in special election

BY TOM TROY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Three East Toledoans filed for the special election for Toledo City Council District 3 in time for yesterday's filing deadline, but a South Toledoan may be the candidate to beat.

Taylor Balderas, 22, of 547 Crittenden Ave. in the old south end, filed yesterday to retain the seat to which she was appointed Jan. 17. She is the endorsed Democratic candidate.

Also running are Don Boisselle, 41, of Nevada Street; Michael Craig, 50, of 127 Consaul St., and Frederick Kutz, 59, of 724 Earl St.

The special election set for May 2 is to replace Democrat Robert McCloskey, who resigned Jan. 3 to take the at-large seat he won in the Nov. 8 election.

The district has about 26,000 registered voters, but Domenic Montalto, executive director of the Lucas County Democratic Party, predicted a low turnout of about 2,100 people. He said the party will have volunteers at all seven of the district's polling places on Election Day to hand out pro-Balderas literature.

Ms. Balderas graduated from Notre Dame Academy and Bowling Green State University and works as an office manager for Viva South Toledo community development corporation. She said she is focusing on safety because of the number of constituent complaints she has received about gang activity.

In an effort to reach out to East Toledoans, Ms. Balderas is using the Waite High School colors of yellow and purple and a picture of the Anthony Wayne Bridge in her campaign signs.

Mr. Craig is a clerk in the Lucas County clerk of courts title office. He said he decided to run because he felt the district needed a more experienced representative than Ms. Balderas.

He said he has been on the athletic board of the East Toledo Family Center and the board of the East Toledo Senior Center.

He said east siders are upset about the likelihood of losing a proposed sports arena to the central business district. He said he would address dilapidated housing and the needs of small businesses in his campaign.

Mr. Kutz is retired as a manufacturer's representative and urban planner. He is a graduate of Waite and the University of Toledo from which he received a bachelor's degree in political science.

He ran as an at-large council candidate in 1997, and is a long-time Democratic Party committeeman and ward chairman.

He said he's against moving the arena to the downtown and said, "I would do everything in my power to keep it on the east side."

He said he's not intimidated by the party's backing of Ms. Balderas. "I can tell you a lot of people that are helping her aren't placing a finger on the button and casting a ballot," Mr. Kutz said.

Mr. Boisselle could not be reached for comment.

Mary E. Wilson, of 1219 Crystal St., also filed but said she learned yesterday she did not have enough qualified signatures to get on the ballot.

Contact Tom Troy at:

tomtroy@theblade.com

or 419-724-6058.



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