Apparently, there are
several endorsement fights taking place inside the Lucas
County Democratic Party as individuals vie for the bounty
left by last month’s municipal elections. No doubt, the main
event is the battle between councilwoman Lindsay Webb and
State Representative Michael Ashford for Lucas County
Treasurer, made possible by Wade Kapszukiewicz’s November 7
defeat of incumbent Mayor Paula Hicks Hudson.
The Webb/Ashford clash is,
according to some, a rematch of an earlier bout between the
two. In 2008, there was a Democratic Party deal to keep
Ashford as Toledo City Council president who would agree to
give up chairmanship of his public utilities committee in
Webb was promised the
public utilities committee in exchange for her support of
Ashford for council president. After having committed to
the deal, Webb reneged and voted instead for Mark Sobczak.
This created a tie so that then Mayor Carty Finkbeiner,
could break the tie for Sobczak. When Sobczak then tried to
reward Webb by giving her the public utilities committee,
the rest of council was incensed by what they considered to
be a backstabbing and refused to approve it and Ashford
ended up keeping the public utilities committee.
Is Lindsay Webb a racist
or a liar?
Neither, says a pensive
Webb, who claims that she has since mended fences with
Ashford and worked closely with the state representative on
key issues such as the Ohio Voters Bill of Rights.
“Michael and I have had
some tough conversations and what I shared with him is that
God uses our lowest moments for growth,” says the
councilwoman. “If I hadn’t gone through that, I may not have
been as willing to take a look at, to develop a racial
analysis and to understand things from a perspective that
before that I hadn’t been privy to. I’m a product of my
environment, a white working class family, but over the last
several years I have become educated and built allies and
tried to build organic relationships where I can to make a
difference in the community as a whole, but specifically
within the black community. And I’m not the type of person
who you can just take me on a tour, come to this church,
come to this church, no. I want to build relationships with
pastors, I want to work the same way that I work with the
civic leadership in the community that I represent. So I’ve
been able to say this situation was a really horrible
experience for me both personally and professionally, but
it’s forced me to become an ally of the needs of the
minority community because I became educated and I’m not
afraid to talk about race. I’m not perfect, but I think
that that, in some ways, is like the reason why all that
happened, as horrible as it was, was so that I could grow as
an individual,” she adds.
Is Webb an Opportunist?
The councilwoman will be
term limited in November 2019 as a Gen Xer sandwiched
between a boomer generation taking its time to retire and an
impatient millennial generation that can’t wait to take her
Although she claims that
her campaign war chest is nonexistent, an option for Webb is
to accept an appointment to the Ohio Legislature to fill a
soon to be available opening in the current local political
game of musical chairs.
Yet, raising a 13-year-old
stepdaughter and sons aged six and seven makes Ohio State
government a challenge. “In (State government) you spend
even more time away from home because you’re raising money,
you’re in sunny Mansfield, Ohio and beautiful Akron and
you’re not in the classroom volunteering, you’re not driving
your kids to x, y and z. I can do it if I have to, but
given the choice and given the opportunity, I’d rather be
home because I don’t get this back. I don’t get this time
back,” she laments.
Can old wounds be healed?
Ultimately, Webb probably
brings with her the support of the powerful building trades
association while Ashford, a prolific fundraiser, brings his
own surrogates and a large campaign stash.
What is certain is that the rematch will make for an
interesting central committee meeting. I am also sure that
screening committee members such as Teresa Moore, George
Hilliard and Keith Mitchell have not forgotten the first
Contact Rev. Donald Perryman, D.Min, at