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No Hard Feelings?

By Rev. Donald L. Perryman, D.Min.
The Truth Contributor

Every intersection in the road of life is an opportunity to make a decision.    
             -  Duke Ellington


Rev. Donald L. Perryman, D.Min.

Apparently, there are several endorsement fights taking place inside the Lucas County Democratic Party as individuals vie for the bounty left by last monthís 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 Kapszukiewiczís 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 return.

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.

ďMichael and I have had some tough conversations and what I shared with him is that God uses our lowest moments for growth,Ē says the councilwoman. ďIf I hadnít 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 hadnít been privy to.  Iím 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 Iím 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 Iíve been able to say this situation was a really horrible experience for me both personally and professionally, but itís forced me to become an ally of the needs of the minority community because I became educated and Iím not afraid to talk about race.  Iím 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,Ē 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 canít wait to take her place.

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. ďIn (State government) you spend even more time away from home because youíre raising money, youíre in sunny Mansfield, Ohio and beautiful Akron and youíre not in the classroom volunteering, youíre 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, Iíd rather be home because I donít get this back.  I donít get this time back,Ē 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 brawl.

Contact Rev. Donald Perryman, D.Min, at drdlperryman@centerofhopebaptist.org



Copyright © 2017 by [The Sojourner's Truth]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 08/16/18 14:12:37 -0700.



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