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A Late Peek

By Rev. Donald L. Perryman, PhD
The Truth Contributor

  I endured the personal humiliation of being vilified as the “madwoman” with the strange name, strange hair—you know what that means—and with the strange ideas. Those ideas being that all people deserve equal representation.

                          -  Lani Guinier


Rev. Donald L. Perryman, D.Min.

After a seemingly endless campaign season, we are finally less than a week away from the general election to be held in Toledo on Tuesday, November 5, 2019.

As we approach the homestretch, it is “all over but the shouting” for many of the political contests, as the outcomes appear to be fairly certain. In others, however, the conditions are ripe for a surprise.

In today’s column I take a late look at how a few contests are poised to shape up on election day.

Toledo City Council Winners:

District One: Tyrone Riley

Riley failed to get a majority of the vote total in the primary election. If the 57 percent of the people who previously voted against Riley now cast a ballot for his opponent Shaun Strong in the general, this could be a close race. Although Riley has been known to ‘shoot himself in the foot’ politically, Strong has also recently been the victim of unnecessary self-inflicted wounds of his own.

Riley has endorsements in hand from Fire Fighters Local 92, Northwest Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council, Toledo Police Patrolmen’s Association, AFSCME Power in Action and Plumbers and Pipefitters Union. These endorsements and experience take Riley over the top in what could be a tight race.

District Two Matt Cherry

Cherry, current council president, is often criticized for his unconditional support of the Kapszukiewicz administration’s agenda and not having command of city council’s own agenda. Yet, he has the support of the Building Trades and Construction Council, who is out knocking doors for him. Labor wants Cherry on council so he wins this race with approximately 65 percent of the vote over challenger Abigail Sadowy.

District Three Theresa Gadus

Perhaps the biggest tossup of all of the current council matchups. Gadus, very civically-involved but soft-spoken, has been out knocking doors but East Toledo has been leaning more conservative over time, giving the ‘backwards-looking’ Glen Cook the potential to provide Republican representation on council. However, the word on the street is ‘the more Cook talks, the more good things come to Gadus.’ So, if Cook continues to stick his foot in his mouth, Gadus wins this contest in a close one.

District Four Yvonne Harper

This battle is a head-on collision of two old-school politicians with similar passions but different styles. Yvonne Harper, the incumbent, is perhaps more defiant and pugnacious, while  the challenger June Boyd, is perhaps, a passive-aggressive pugilist whose counterpunching commentary can be sharp, cutting and effective.

I think Harper wins this race handily as a result of being in touch with the needs of her constituency. Her ‘I’m In the Community’ mantra has proved to be true as she seems to stick up for the people of her district even if her thinking on the wedge issues in her district does not always align with conventional wisdom.

District Five Sam Melden

Despite the Republicans pouring an avalanche of money into District 5, Melden has kept his nose to the grindstone by knocking on doors and, surprisingly, expressing a progressive agenda. The young politician has learned much from his previous defeats and is bringing up new issues, developing a turnout model which targets youth and talking to and about those people that might not otherwise have voice or representation.

Melden’s opponent is Tom Names, a professional engineer who retired in 2014. Names feels that his understanding on issues like fixing city streets and expanding the water treatment system is a professional experience that is missing on city council.

The Republicans will turn out to support Names but Melden has expanded his campaign to include talking to anyone and anybody under the age of 40 in order to start recruiting for a new generation of leaders. Melden wins with over 60 percent of the vote.

District Six Chris Delaney

The only interesting thing about this contest is that when Delaney wins, will he then almost immediately announce that he wants to run for Lucas County Sherriff to replace the retiring John Tharp.

The retired Toledo Police officer was employed by TPD for over 30 years and his father worked as the corrections administrator for the Lucas County Jail. Delaney, the incumbent, wins this race hands down.

Toledo Public Schools:

Board Member Sheena Barnes

Representation is paramount in a school district where a majority of the students are students of color. The Toledo School Board has not had an African-American member since Randall Parker III, who was appointed in April, 2015 to replace Cecelia Adams but lost in his bid for a full term later that same year. Councilman Larry Sykes also previously served on the TPS Board through 2013.

 Look for Sheena Barnes, an African-American woman, to win a spot on the Toledo School Board. Barnes is transparent and passionate and will inevitably ruffle feathers with some of the School Board’s establishment. Her message around representation is important though, and will carry her through as she fights both for the students and respect for herself. I think that the TPS parents and students will appreciate it.

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



Copyright © 2019 by [The Sojourner's Truth]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 10/31/19 09:21:41 -0400.



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