Toledo City Councilman Joe McNamara made it official Monday — he's running for the state Senate seat representing Toledo and Oregon, Jerusalem and Washington townships, and a precinct of Sylvania Township.
He's also calling on the Senate leadership not to appoint anyone to a vacancy for that seat — if one occurs — until after the May 4th primary. His rival, state Rep. Edna Brown (D., Toledo), is also seeking the Senate District 11 seat.
Mr. McNamara, 32, a lawyer from West Toledo who recently stepped down as council president, said he made up his mind after a period of exploration.
He said he's been encouraged by people who feel he has worked well across political lines and would be able to do the same in Columbus.
"I'm running because our community needs strong, independent leaders in Columbus to stand up to the special interests and fight for the priorities of the middle class," Mr. McNamara said. "More must be done to bring down the cost of government while targeting investment in mission-critical areas like job creation, job training, and Ohio's clean energy future."
The Senate District 11 seat is now held by Democrat Teresa Fedor. She is prohibited by term limits from seeking re-election and is expected to be appointed to the House seat now held by State Rep. Peter Ujvagi (D., Toledo).
Mr. Ujvagi is also term-limited and is expected to resign from the House in mid- to late-March to become Lucas County administrator.
Mr. McNamara said he's let the Senate leadership know he wants the appointment, and said, "Let the Democratic process work and the people decide who would be the next senator representing us."
Mr. McNamara is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the New York University School of Law. He is married to Valerie Moffitt, a community development professional and attorney.
This story has been updated and corrected form an earlier version..