Toledo voters turned out in low numbers Tuesday to select lawyer Keith Wilkowski and retired fire chief Mike Bell to run against each other for mayor on Nov. 3 to replace retiring Democratic Mayor Carty Finkbeiner.
Voters chose two men who both served as city department heads, graduated in the same Woodward High School class of 1973, hold University of Toledo diplomas, and live five blocks apart in the same neighborhood of Old Orchard.
Mr. Wilkowski, 53, a Democrat, is expected to get the Democratic endorsement. Mr. Bell, 54, a lifelong Democrat, ran as an independent.
"I feel very good about how the campaign has gone," Mr. Wilkowski said after watching the vote totals arrive with supporters at Michael's Bar & Grill downtown. "I know that we've worked tremendously hard and the results that we've seen are the result of hard work, hard work that we will do on behalf of Toledoans to put people to work, create jobs, and turn the economy around," Mr. Wilkowski said.
Mr. Bell spent the evening with supporters at Tango's Mexican Cantina at the
"This is a horse race and we're going to keep pushing," Mr. Bell said. "We've also proven it does not hurt to reach out to both sides of the line. People want to see change.
"I'm time tested under fire. When people are able to see both candidates there will be obvious differences," Mr. Bell said.