Mayoral candidates make final push before primary - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Mayoral candidates make final push before primary

By Dick Berry - email

Posted by Tim Mannor - email

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - The five major mayoral candidates are out drumming up last-minute support, hoping to land the top job in the city on the top floor of the Government Center. They're doing it the old fashioned way, and that's meeting voters one-on-one.

Ben Konop went to the downtown Frickers Sunday where folks gathered to watch the Michigan/Nortre Dame game.

"I think most people have been paying attention to the race," Konop said. "They know the issues. They want to see the candidate one more time and ask that last-minute question, share that last concern for the city." He'll spend Monday with Toledo Jeep workers.

The big stop this weekend for all political candidates is the Greek Festival in Downtown Toledo.

Keith Wilkowski thinks face-to-face is the best way to campaign.

"One on one is the most effective ways of campaigning,"Mr. Wilkowski said. "Of course, the trouble is you can't talk to everyone. To the extent I can, I do it."

Mike Collins thinks he was elected to the Toledo city council in 2007 because he spent more time shaking hands than raising money. He's taking the same approach in the mayoral primary. "It's the only chance you have," Collins said. "It's also a dual advantage because I get to listen to the citizens talk back to me too. And I learn from what they're saying."

Mike Bell feels the same way: Meeting your constitutes builds trust.

"There are some people who would ignore you and walk away from them," Mr. Bell said. "But they really want to know how much attention you're going to give them. Do it out here, as Mayor do the same thing."

The two Mikes -- Bell and Collins -- are joining forces in support of Issue 1. That's the plan to change how the city allocates its three-quarter percent income tax. If passed, it will divert money from capital improvement funds to police and fire services as a way to make up lost revenue. Collins is a former Toledo police officer and Bell is the former city fire chief. Both say safety forces should be a priority.

Jim Moody says he's spending 13 hours a day leading up to primary day shaking hands. To him, it's more important than ads and yard signs. Moody said, "Really for us it's as much as reminding the people of the commitment we've made to them in the last 10 months about turning this town around and making new friends at the same time."

The top two vote-getters Tuesday will square off in the November election.

Copyright 2009 WTOL, a Raycom Media station. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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