The Tale of Disappearing Candidates

. October 10, 2018.

The field is narrowing.

Former GOP Chair Jon Stainbrook’s claim to fame was his ability to ensure that all political races in Lucas County were contested. Sure, some of his recruits running for office were complete unknowns, many were barely breathing, and most had no chance on this good, green Earth to win an election. Still, none of the Lucas County Ds could run unopposed.

As chronicled previously here and elsewhere, Stainbrook is no longer Chair, having been defeated for the position by now-Chair Mark Wagoner earlier this year. That change in power led to immediate defections by the Stainbrook-assembled GOP slate.


The first candidate to drop out of the race was Kenneth Cousino, who had been Paula Hicks-Hudson’s opponent for the state house. Cousino gave up the ghost in July. We have no idea why, nor do we care. Cousino had no chance to beat PHH anyway.

Auditor Anita Lopez’ GOP opponent was something called James Wollenweber. Perhaps Jimmy realized his inexplicably swollen surname would necessitate a tiny font on the ballot. Or maybe he figured out any time and energy that he gave to his ill-fated candidacy would be time and energy he would never get back. In any case, he dropped out of the race in August.

Both PHH and A-Lo are now running unopposed.

Early voting began on October 9. All other Stainbrook candidates will be on the ballot, shining examples of tilting at

But one of those candidates’ voting numbers won’t count in the election.

Get out of jail

We have previously discussed the dual Sandys in the race to replace Carol Contrada as LC Commish. Dem Gary Byers is opposed by nominal Independent Sandy Spang and endorsed Republican Sandy Bashaw. We have also discussed the fact that Spang has worked closely with Wagoner, even though he couldn’t support her overtly, with Bashaw being the endorsed Republican.

All that has changed in an October Surprise. Bashaw has now dropped out of the race, and has thrown her support to Spang, freeing Republicans to support Spang directly.

She did so in a weirdly rambling video posted on the Bashaw for Commissioner Facebook page on October 5. In the video, Bashaw tearfully stated she had decided to resign from the position of running as a candidate in the race.

Anyway, Bashaw explained that she would rather focus on supporting the citizens’ initiative to keep the LC jail in downtown Toledo. Which initiative has been kept off the ballot in a move affirmed by the Ohio Supreme Court.

Apparently Bashaw wasn’t satisfied with a losing candidacy. She’d rather focus on an initiative that has already lost.

Bashaw dropped out too late for her name to be removed from the ballot, but due to her resignation from the race, any votes she receives will not count in the election results.

All eyes are now on Spang. Bashaw said she supports Spang, in part, because she believes Spang is on board with the effort to keep the jail downtown. Will Spang publicly join the failed ballot initiative mere weeks before the election?

Stay tuned, kiddos. It is never dull and you couldn’t make this stuff up if you tried, we call it City Politics.