The field is set. The candidates have been certified for the big Primary Election showdown coming for coveted seats on T-Town City Council!
Oh, whoopsie, our bad. Looks like there won’t be any Primary Election in T-Town. So few citizens give a darn about elected office that there aren’t enough candidates to warrant a primary runoff.
Counting to one
Heck, half the council districts barely have enough interest to warrant a General Election. It takes at least three candidates to require a primary, and at least one candidate to create a general. No districts have more than two candidates. Districts Three, Four, and Six have exactly one candidate each. Incumbents Theresa Gadus, Vanice Williams and Theresa Morris just need to remember to vote for themselves in November and they’re in.
As discussed in our last column, two of the remaining three seats have no challenger from the GOP. Districts One and Two each pit two Ds against each other. District One features incumbent John Hobbs against Shaun Strong. Great choice here. Hobbs is a political novice appointed to replace convicted former councilman Tyrone Riley. Hobbs was allegedly caught double counting time paid by various public agencies soon after his appointment to Council. Strong is a former City of Toledo employee disciplined for violating the city’s ethics policy. He lost to Riley in twenty nineteen. Either one would be a logical choice to replace the scandal-ridden Riley.
Speaking of folks who can’t hold a job, former Council member Adam Martinez is back and running for District Two. Martinez was elected to an at-large seat in twenty oh nine as a Democrat, then proceeded to shoot himself in the proverbial foot by voting for then-Mayor Mike Bell’s exigent circumstances ordinances breaking the contracts of all city unions. Martinez has been unapologetic about this stance, and even endorsed Bell’s re-election as Mayor.
Martinez lost his own re-election in twenty thirteen, as did Bell. Bell went on to introduce then-candidate Donald Trump during his twenty sixteen visit to downtown Toledo. Martinez, meanwhile, jumped from job to job before declaring as a candidate for Toledo City Council in twenty twenty one, when he failed to garner enough valid petition signatures to make the ballot.
Martinez’ opponent is fellow D and block watch captain Patrick Harvey. The latter is a member of the Lucas County Dem Central Committee, but has no discernible political baggage. In other words, boring. We’ll move on.
Over in District Five, incumbent Sam Melden has proven to be a thoughtful and competent legislator. His opponent is good ol’ reliable Tom Names. Reliable as in you can rely on him to run for something every election cycle lately. And lose.
Ol’ Tommy boy ran for an at-large seat in twenty seventeen and finished last in the primary. He got trounced by Melden for the District Five seat in twenty nineteen. He withdrew as the Republican candidate for county commissioner in twenty twenty. If he had stayed in that race he would have been trounced by incumbent Tina Wozniak. He ran for an at-large seat again in twenty twenty one, finishing far out of the running in the primary.
Three strikes and you’re out, Tom. All that’s left here is another humiliating loss.
To recap. Three district incumbents are running unopposed. Distrust One remains the district of scandal and intrigue. District Two pits a candidate who calls himself a D but backed a candidate who backed Trump against a clean politician. District Five pits a competent incumbent against a Republican political zombie who doesn’t know when enough is enough.
City Politics in a nutshell.