Wilkowski: “Grateful and humbled”Written by Toledo Free Press Staff Writers | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Keith Wilkowski said Sept. 15 he was “grateful and humbled by the support shown to him by Toledo voters and that his message of change, as well as the focus on economic development resonated.”
He stated he thought everyone was shocked by the lower voter turnout and that meant that he and others had to work even harder to increase voter turnout for November.
Mayoral candidate Ben Konop was seen at Michael’s on Monroe Street, congratulating candidate Wilkowski on the primary win.
Candidate Jim Moody was seen at The Docks congratulating candidate Mike Bell.
Bell said he was ready for the next round of campaigning.
“I am feeling very good about tonight. We have worked very hard. We had more to overcome than our Democratic opponents because of our independent status, but I am extremely happy for the direction the city is moving toward,” Bell said Sept. 15. “We can reach across the aisle.”
Bell said he will “get on his motorcycle tomorrow morning and think about what went well and what needs to be worked on. I’m looking forward to the battle.”
Wilkowski said his campaign delivered a message to neighborhoods that “we can turn this economy around — there are things that we can do to put Toledoans to work; that message resonated with voters and I am very, very grateful for all of the hard work that was done on this campaign; and we’re going to continue to work all the way to November and then after that on behalf of the citizens of Toledo to make this a great place, a great city again.”
Toledo City Council President Joe McNamara commented on the failure of Issue 1: “Safety first voters were unable to overcome Carty Finkbeiner’s loud and well-funded misinformation campaign in this election; I still believe this change in the allocation is needed to address the city’s financial crisis and to prevent large scale police layoffs. City Council has taken action this year to reduce the deficit by millions, while Mayor Finkbeiner has rejected every solution to balance the budget presented by Council that would not raise taxes on the middle class families of Toledo. As we move forward, Council members will continue to work together to enact bipartisan budget solutions that put public safety first.”
McNamara thanked Toledo voters for supporting him in the primary and stated he will continue to work hard to come up with responsible budget solutions for Toledo’s financial crisis. He said “while everyone said the numbers were going to be low, it’s disappointing because our city is in financial crisis and new leadership is needed.”
McNamara said he was pleased with Wilkowski moving into the general election.
“I think Keith has the best ideas to promote job growth and I share his vision for future economic development,” he said.
In 2005, Wilkowski finished third with a voter turnout of 22.2 percent against two former mayors, Carty Finkbeiner and Jack Ford. Wilkowski ended up with 23 percent of the vote, which put him close to Ford’s 26 percent, but not enough to move on to the No. 2 spot.
For 2009, Wilkowski announced his mayoral intentions much sooner than in 2005 and had a more organized campaign, taking in what worked for the Obama campaign and relying on some of the same volunteer base that was involved with the Toledoans for Obama effort. The Wilkowski campaign was successful with fundraising and was one of the few mayoral campaigns that had a major television ad campaign, though he was never labeled as the front runner.
Most of the polling done before D. Michael Collins entered the race indicated Michael Bell would be the top finisher.
The Lucas County Board of Elections is predicting 18.45 percent voter turnout. The Lucas County Board of Elections is reporting these unofficial results:
n Wilkowski first for Toledo Mayor: 11,214. Bell in second place: 10,543. Jim Moody in third: 5,582.
n Issue 1 (Change 3/4 percent Tax Allocation) failed 19,318 to 16,484.
n Issue 2 (Nine is Fine) failed 18,537 to 16,648.
n City council candidates:
Rob Ludeman: 17,569
George Sarantou: 17,514
Joe McNamara: 17,447
Phil Copeland: 12,731
Steven Steel: 9,869
Polly Taylor-Gerken: 9,382
Adam Martinez: 7,724
Kevin Milliken: 7,462
Constantine Stamos: 5,597
Terry Shankland: 5,561
Tricia Lyons: 5,543
Terry Biel: 5,394