Monday, May 28, 2018
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Candidates emerge to replace McCloskey

Candidates have started to emerge for the Toledo City Council vacancy created by Councilman Bob McCloskey's resignation announcement this week.

"Things are moving rather quickly," John Irish, chairman of the Lucas County Democratic Party screening committee, said yesterday.

He said applications for the party's recommendation will be accepted until noon May 5.

Mr. McCloskey, a Democrat, announced Wednesday that he is leaving council after 12 years in office because of the criminal and civil cases pending against him.

Mr. McCloskey is under indictment in Lucas County Common Pleas Court on bribery charges stemming from a 2002 zoning case and is a defendant in a federal civil case involving the same situation. A trial in the criminal case is scheduled to start May 9.

Bob Vasquez and Terry Shankland, two Democrats who ran unsuccessfully for at-large council seats last year, already have applied for the vacancy.

Bob Wuest, an East Toledo Democrat who ran unsuccessfully for council in 1993, also was cited as a likely contender. He would not say yesterday whether he intends to apply.

Mayor Carty Finkbeiner said Ben Konop - if he doesn't survive Tuesday's primary for the Democratic nomination for Lucas County commissioner - would be a good candidate.

Also identified as a possible Democratic candidate was state Rep. Jeanine Perry (D., Toledo), who is in her last permitted House term. However, she said yesterday that she wants to finish her term.

Mr. Irish said he wants a candidate who can close the rift between the A-team and B-team Democrats - the division between supporters of former Mayor Jack Ford and Mr. Finkbeiner in the 2005 mayoral election.

"It's critical that we get the support of all the Democrats on council," Mr. Irish said.

Mr. Vasquez was the next highest vote-getter in 2005 after the six candidates who won the election. However, his endorsement by the A-team in the last election could hinder him.

"I'm sure that's a question that'll come up in screening. If it'll be a critical issue, I don't know," Mr. Irish said.

Mr. Vasquez said he ran last year at the encouragement of Mr. Ford.

"The election is over and Carty Finkbeiner won and it's time to move on," Mr. Vasquez said. "I'm not trying to keep the old divisions alive."

Mr. Shankland, an unsuccessful candidate in many attempts for City Council and the 11th-place finisher in November, said he's earned the appointment.

"There's nobody else in line," Mr. Shankland said. "The only other one who's interested is Mr. Vasquez and he's in the A-team."

Council President Rob Ludeman, a Republican, said the GOP might sit out the vacancy process, knowing that the appointment is almost certain to go to a Democrat, but said the party will endorse someone in the general election.

"I'm sure both parties are going to look to put someone in nomination who's serious about putting together a campaign for November," Mr. Ludeman said.

He cited David Schulz, who ran unsuccessfully for an at-large council seat last year, as a likely candidate. Mr. Schulz, who finished 10th, said he is interested in the vacancy.

Another possible candidate is Democrat Karen Shanahan, who came in eighth in last year's council voting, with A-team backing.

Council will have 30 days, beginning 5 p.m. Tuesday, to pick a replacement to serve until the general election in November, when someone will be elected to serve the three years that will remain in Mr. McCloskey's term.

Contact Tom Troy at:

or 419-724-6058.

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