Challengers in City Politics
There are many reasons folks decide to run for public office. Some have a sincere desire to participate in public service. Others have certain skill sets that are useful in policymaking, like leadership, clear reasoning and thoughtfulness. Still, others have areas of expertise they can bring to bear for the greater good, like knowledge of finances, legal reasoning, or economic development.
Then there are those who simply have blind personal ambition and those who have an ax to grind. It’s these latter miscreants that concern us here in this City Politics column.
It’s election season in the Swamp, and some of the swampier of swamp creatures are running for office.
Bobby for Bobby
Take Robert Worthington, candidate for Toledo City Council, District Three. The seat is now an open seat, since incumbent Peter Ujvagi announced he is not running for re-election.
Worthington claims he is running to connect with constituents. Which is, of course, putting the cart before the horse. Connection with constituents should come before you run, Bobby, baby.
Worthington’s personal desire for power is barely concealed by such noble talk, though. Just last year he ran for the Ohio House. Sorta begs the question, which constituents is he trying to connect with. Not many, apparently, since he only garnered a scant sixteen point five per cent of the vote and didn’t clear the primary against former Toledo Mayor Paula HH.
This was a year after he started a campaign for an At-Large seat on Council, then suspended his campaign when he figured out he had a snowball’s chance in Hades of winning. Which was two years after twenty fifteen, when he also ran for District Three. Finished last out of four candidates in that debacle and didn’t clear the primary.
Then there’s Worthington’s Linked In summary, in which he lays it all on the table. “Determined to eventually get elected to public office.” There you have it. Blind personal ambition at its finest.
And then there’s Connor
At least Worthington shows his hand. Connor Kelley doesn’t make it nearly as obvious. But trust us. For Kelley, it’s all about him. He views his current run for a District Five seat as a stepping stone to higher office.
Whether citizens want him there or not. Mind you, both Worthington and Kelley are young, inexperienced, and have little by way of actual skills to bring to public office. But that doesn’t stop them from making it their goal.
Kelley’s so green he makes it obvious he doesn’t really know what office he’s running for. His number two platform plank is education. He vows to improve Toledo Public Schools and help graduates connect with college and trade school opportunities. Er, Connor, buddy, Toledo Public Schools has an elected School Board for those sorts of things. Delusions of grandeur aside, maybe you need to rethink what Council actually does.
The wrong suit
One last ne’er do well that bears discussing is Robert Gabriel iii, running for District One. He’s the grandson of former council member and current Assistant Director of the Board of Elections, and notorious FOCer, Theresa Gabriel. But that’s not all.
This is the same Robert Gabriel who sued the city several years ago, only to have his case tossed out of court. This left him with thousands in unpaid legal bills.
His signs are strewn across the city, in every council district. They feature angel wings and an angelic trumpet. But how angelic is it to run for a leadership position in a city you once sued in a lawsuit you unceremoniously lost? Yeah, not so much.
Keep your eyes peeled, savvy readerz. The swamp creatures walk at night, and they’re coming to a ballot near you.