Mayor, volunteers knock on doors to reach voters

Long line forms at county’s Early Voter Center

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    Toledo Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson campaigns door-to-door in North Toledo for the city income tax levy. She walked in North Toledo and knocked on doors for two hours.

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  • With three days until Election Day, volunteers Saturday armed with stacks of leaflets and large coffees started the final weekend push to reach as many likely voters as possible.

    Toledo Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson was among dozens meeting at the Toledo Federation of Teachers union office in South Toledo fueling up on sugary doughnuts before a full day of knocking on doors.

    Mayor Hicks-Hudson — a Democrat and strong supporter of Hillary Clinton for president — was focused Saturday on the city’s 0.75 percent temporary income tax renewal.

    “We really need to get as many people out to vote and tell them how crucial this is,” she said.

    After leaving the union hall — where people wearing Clinton buttons and shirts collected literature on the various county levies and other local Democratic candidates — she spent two hours walking the North Toledo neighborhood near Central Avenue and Lagrange Street.

    She knocked on door after door with no answer. The mayor called out addresses she spotted with tall grass or debris and her assistant quickly jotted down the numbers and street name to report as nuisances.

    “That is the problem with doing this, I spot all these things,” Mayor Hicks-Hudson said.

    The mayor and her assistant passed another volunteer working the same neighborhood. They wondered if he was for Mrs. Clinton or Donald Trump.

    It was Samson Wilson, a journeyman lineman for IBEW Local 1245 in California, who has been in Toledo for two weeks campaigning for Democrats.

    “I have a family — three kids and a wife — and they are understanding about me doing this because it’s important,” Mr. Wilson said. “I spend about seven hours every day walking and knocking on doors.”

    The first contact Mayor Hicks-Hudson had was with several chained barking dogs, until walking to the door of a modest home on Bronson Place.

    The door was open and a little boy could be seen playing on the floor through the storm door window.

    “Hi, I’m the mayor,” she shouted through the glass.

    Eventually, Dolores Rodriquez came to the door took the literature, told the mayor she loved her, and promised to vote Tuesday for the city’s income tax renewal — which will generate nearly $57 million this year.

    “Oh, what an honor,” Ms. Rodriquez said.

    The mayor reminded people they could also vote from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. today and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday at the Lucas County Early Voter Center.

    A line of voters there stretched around the block and the wait was at least an hour by 2 p.m. Saturday. Music blasted from speakers on the north side of Monroe Street, where voters were also treated to free food at a “Souls to the Polls” event along the busy roadway.

    There were 1,608 voters at the Early Voter Center on Friday, down from 1,633 the Friday before Election Day in 2012 and 1,759 that same day in 2008.

    There were 1,307 voters Saturday compared with 1,274 on the Saturday before Election Day in 2012 and 1,671 that same day in 2008, according to county board of election records.

    Kathleen Davis of Sylvania Township waited about an hour to cast her vote — the first time she voted early.

    “I didn’t want to have to take a day off Tuesday to vote,” Ms. Davis said. “I voted for Hillary Clinton because I think Donald Trump is the most dangerous man on the planet and I also voted for the levies.”

    The levies, if approved, would generate taxes for the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library, the Toledo Zoo, Imagination Station, Lucas County Children Services, the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority, and Lucas County Emergency Services to maintain and enhance 911 emergency services and the county’s communications systems.

    Contact Ignazio Messina at: or 419-724-6171 or on Twitter @IgnazioMessina.