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Published: Saturday, 8/4/2007

Ex-GOP chief Kidd to run as an independent

Kidd Kidd

Joe Kidd is in a race against nine other candidates for the District 2 seat on Toledo City Council.

Yesterday, he stared down a larger opponent: the Lucas County Republican Party.

Once the county GOP s executive director, Mr. Kidd said during a news conference that is running as an independent in the council race, although he still considers himself a Republican just not a Republican of the Lucas County mold.

Predetermined outcomes, strong-arm tactics, and sham meetings are the hallmark of the [county s] Republican Party, he said. I cannot see that the Lucas County Republican Party has learned anything from the scandals of the past, nor does it show a willingness to change, to move with the times.

Mr. Kidd, 42, is a former Lucas County Board of Elections director and onetime protege of Tom Noe. He helped launch a federal investigation into the former political fund-raiser s illegal laundering of more than $45,000 to President Bush s 2004 campaign, and Noe s theft from a $50 million investment he managed for the state.

Mr. Kidd also faulted county Republicans for retaining their party s leadership in the aftermath of the Noe scandal.

The same core group of people are there, with the exception of Tom and Bernadette Noe, he said. By maintaining that allegiance and that connection, they re missing the point that it s time to move on.

Joanne Wack, executive director of the county GOP, said it s unfair to use Tom Noe s name to soil the reputations of upstanding Republicans.

Ms. Wack also offered a different interpretation of a meeting that she and Mr. Kidd had in June.

While Mr. Kidd s campaign maintains that he sought to contact the Republicans merely to give an olive branch and share his intention to run for council, Ms. Wack said she believes Mr. Kidd came to seek the party s endorsement.

Mr. Kidd had not received the memos that the party already had endorsed attorney Jeff Simpson for the south end s District 2 seat, currently held by term-limited Republican Rob Ludeman.

Officially, the council race is a nonpartisan election.

It sounds to me like sour grapes that he didn t get the endorsement, Ms. Wack said. Now he wants to pick apart the local GOP.

Yet Mr. Kidd has landed an endorsement from one GOP group, the newly formed Glass City Republican Club.

The club s vice president, Chris Mueller, 24, said the group organized in May and has 20 to 30 members, many of whom are in their 20s and 30s.

The main reason we are supporting Mr. Kidd is he coincides with our values the core basic values of Lincoln and Reagan, said Mr. Mueller, a former member of Toledo Young Republicans.

A nonpartisan primary is set for Sept. 11 to winnow the candidate field down to just two for the Nov. 6 general election.

Contact JC Reindl at:jreindl@theblade.comor 419-724-6050.

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