Paula Hicks-Hudson claimed victory Tuesday night and vowed to win again in November against fellow Democrat Wade Kapszukiewicz.
The mayor addressed cheering supporters, promising to tell voters the advances made by the city under her watch.
"I have to do a better job telling my story," Ms. Hicks-Hudson said after it was apparent she would finish first in the primary election against Mr. Kapszukiewicz, the Lucas County treasurer, Republican City Councilman Tom Waniewski, and Opal Covey, a Republican who calls herself a "prophetess."
The mayor won 9,686 votes; Mr. Kapszukiewicz received 8,350 votes, Mr. Waniewski got 6,659, and Ms. Covey got 199 votes, according to unofficial results.
"We are going to continue to uphold what it means to be a Democrat, to care about those who don't have a voice, to make sure people have an opportunity for employment, places to live that are safe, [and] that we continue to have safe drinking water," Mayor Hicks-Hudson said.
The mayor, who was endorsed by the Democratic Party, arrived to a hero’s welcome at Lucas County Democratic Party headquarters about an hour after polls closed.
Mayor Hicks-Hudson said she will be able to show voters she is the better candidate.
“Once we are able to really flesh out and show what we’ve done and what the future can look like under a Hicks-Hudson administration, I think the voters will understand,” she said. “He is running against me. I am the incumbent. I have a record within city government. I think it’s a proven record.”
Sam Melendez, Mayor Hicks-Hudson's campaign manager, said areas of the city that support the mayor showed up to the polls Tuesday in greater numbers.
“We have certain wards we identified as base, swing, and tough,” he said. “Right now, I am seeing our base wards are turning out higher than in 2013 and our tough wards are turning out lower and that is good.”
The Lucas County Democratic Party headquarters was flush with supporters making telephone calls up until nearly the close of polls at 7:30 p.m. By 8 p.m., Hicks-Hudson volunteers were pouring back into the headquarters.
Matthew Allen, a volunteer who spent the day handing out campaign literature at polling locations, said voters seemed to be supportive of the incumbent mayor.
“She is the most capable of getting the job done,” Mr. Allen said after a full day of stumping for the mayor. “She will lookout for the elderly and young people, she will bring jobs, and has a plan for infrastructure.”