It happened first to Jack Ford. Next it was Michael Bell.
Paula Hicks-Hudson’s defeat for re-election makes it the
third consecutive time that an incumbent African-American
mayor has been defeated in a bid to keep his or her job.
The common thread is that each black hopeful carried the
majority African-American wards by a wide majority but
received little support elsewhere.
My take on the 2017 mayor’s race?
No Votes/No Power
Obviously, after three consecutive defeats, what sticks out
most prominently is that the African-American community will
have to find a way to break what has become a type of
“cultural winner-take-all” mentality or zero-sum approach to
Reality says that given our proclivity to hang out at home
or somewhere else on election day, there are just not enough
African-American votes in Toledo to elect a mayor on black
Taking 95 percent of one-fourth of a pie while leaving the
rest of the goodies on the table for somebody else just
isn’t enough to connect across the cultural and generational
differences that represent the reality that is Toledo, Ohio.
Said differently, when we put all of our eggs in one basket,
the math never works.
How do we pursue inclusiveness and racial diversity in
Toledo city government given the results of the November 7
African-American leadership will have to continually branch
out, working at building partnerships with other branches of
government, the business community, nonprofits and our
regional neighbors such as suburban mayors. These
relationships are in addition to those that need to be
nurtured outside of traditional black wards such as in Point
Place, Alexis Road and Beverly neighborhoods.
on the 2017 council races?
People In The Right Seats
Adams, comfortable in a wide variety of cultural settings,
performed admirably. Larry Sykes survived and Harvey Savage
did extremely well for a first-time candidate.
voters having the right people on the bus, the challenge
will be for council to get them in the right seats. The task
is to find a way to work positively with Mayor-elect Wade
Kapszukiewicz. The choice of selecting the next city council
president will be crucial if council is to write meaningful
policy or legislation, get the votes needed to pass it
rather than the gridlock that results from an acrimonious
relationship with the mayor. Look for good soldier Matt
Cherry to become the next council president.
The second challenge for council, with its two new faces, is
to find a way a way to work together as a group. Policy
thinkers such as DAdams and Sandy Spang (the top vote
getter) will need to work collaboratively with policy doers
such as Lindsay Webb, Gary Johnson or Nick Komives. The
point is to eliminate obstructionists or those who might try
to “box-in” the newcomers.
we go from here?
Dots on White Rectangles
Look for State
Representative Michael Ashford to be appointed to take over
as Lucas County Treasurer to replace
Kapszukiewicz. This appointment will be the impetus for
other dominoes to fall in succession.
Ashford’s appointment will
accomplish three things potentially. With State Senator Edna
Brown’s approaching retirement, Ashford and Teresa Fedor
won’t have to slug it out for Brown’s seat. So it avoids a
conflict and helps the party come back together from the
hard feelings generated by
Kapszukiewicz’s decision to run against the incumbent and
Secondly, an appointment
to Lucas County Treasurer opens up Ashford’s House of
Representatives seat for a variety of people, which might
also heal the party. The 44th House District
seems to be a perfect landing spot for say, Paula-Hicks
For certain, the
appointment of Ashford could heal the fresh wounds of defeat
for the black community and creates an opportunity for
either Yvonne Harper, Mayor Hicks-Hudson or even a Tyrone
Riley to step up immediately, which in turn will then create
an opportunity to keep flowing. It also guarantees that
Teresa Fedor goes to the Ohio Senate, which opens up her
house seat for Lindsay Webb, and that opens up another new
face on council (Savage?).
Ashford has skillfully
climbed up the leadership ladder, having performed well on
city council and serving in a leadership capacity on the
State level. He is currently a ranking committee member in
the Ohio House of Representatives. So it makes a lot of
political sense for Michael Ashford to succeed Wade, not
only because of his record of service, but also because it
avoids a fight and creates additional opportunities for
Is it enough to bring more
inclusion and diversity to the Democratic Party?
“I’m going to keep an open
mind,” says Jimmie Snodgrass, a longtime Democratic Party
official. “There’s gonna be change, but if they don’t have
any color in the new administration I’m gonna call it for
what it is.”
Amen on that.
Contact Rev. Donald Perryman, D.Min, at