Webb: Facts illustrate other side of controversyWritten by Lindsay Webb | | email@example.com
It was with great disappointment that I read your Aug. 28 editorial (“Publisher’s Statement: Webb of Dysfunction”) about the challenge to my candidacy for re-election to Toledo City Council. While you, of course, have the right to use the editorial pages of your newspaper however you see fit, I wish you would have talked to me first to get the facts straight and to understand the other side of this controversy.
When I appeared on the cover of Toledo Free Press with my newborn son in May 2010, the article noted that I was successfully juggling work, a new family and my duties on Toledo City Council. At that time, you were interested in what I had to say. So I am disappointed that you never tried to see what I might have to say now.
Well, here are the facts:
At the time my opponent decided to file an election protest to challenge my candidacy, I had already been certified to the ballot and the time for making such technical challenges had long since passed. I submitted more than enough valid nominating petitions July 12, three days before the petition filing deadline, and I was certified to the ballot by a unanimous board of elections on July 21. My opponent’s challenge, however, was not filed until Aug. 18, long after the state law deadline of July 30 for filing these kinds of technical challenges. In fact, by Aug. 9, early voting had begun and voters were casting ballots in the City Council races.
Wisely, state law does not permit people to comb through every candidate’s election papers without end, look for some minor defect and then try to yank the person off the ballot after the election has begun. Once the voting has started, then it’s up to the electorate
At issue is a city charter provision designed to ensure that the person nominated to run for City Council actually desires to be a candidate for the office. This particular provision harkens back to a time when a group of citizens may have gathered petition signatures and “drafted” a person to run for the office. To be sure, the person nominated really wanted to be a candidate, the charter called for the person to submit an acceptance letter.
In my case, I pulled my own petitions, signed my own petitions and circulated some of my own petitions. When I filed my petitions, I signed a form indicating how my name should appear on the ballot. It is beyond silly to suggest that without an acceptance letter the election authorities won’t know that I really want to be a candidate for City Council.
Furthermore, at a recent Lucas County Board of Elections meeting, it was disclosed that the board has never before enforced this charter provision, whether the candidate submitted the acceptance letter late or not at all. So long as it was clear the person had submitted proper nominating petitions and desired to be a candidate, the person’s name has always — always — appeared on the ballot in order to allow the voters the broadest choice in who their representative should be.
You advocate that I just quit, give up. Believe me, I’ve faced tougher odds standing up for the residents of District 6 — taking unpopular stands when I felt it was in the best interest of my constituents. I’ve faced anonymous insults, threats and name-calling — while being a mother, wife, an employee and a councilwoman.
Have I made mistakes along the way? Yes. But I’ve never been the type of person to quit and I don’t plan to now. The residents of District 6 deserve to have a choice in this election.
It is my hope that they continue to support me and allow me the honor of representing them for another term.
Lindsay Webb is the District 6 Toledo City Councilwoman. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at (419) 245-1050.