BY DARRYL Q. TUCKER
Journal Managing Editor
Lucas County Auditor Anita Lopez says Toledo has not reached its full potential and it needs a change.
“We can do better,” Lopez told a group of Toledoans at the Aurora Gonzalez Believe Center, former home of the Boys and Girls Club and not far from where her parents raised her. “We must do better.”
Lopez then told an anxious gathering of more than 400 on Tuesday, April 16, that she is running for mayor.
Toledo voters could elect Lopez as the city’s first Hispanic mayor.
Residents are unemployed, worried about their neighborhoods, concerned about their children and wondering if city leaders are making right decisions, said Lopez, a Democrat.
“Some are even questioning whether Toledo is the right place to raise their families,” said Lopez, the mother of two sons, Armand and Anders.
“We cannot continue down this path. It is clear that what we are doing now is not working.”
Toledo’s mayor must have a vision for the future, Lopez said, including: attracting good jobs and economic development; ensure safe and strong neighborhoods; lead a government that works for the people; and someone who is in touch with the people.
“As your mayor, I will be in touch with Toledo and in touch with you because I believe that with hard work and determination our city can accomplish great things,” Lopez said. “I will bring my track record of accountability, transparency and excellent customer service to the mayor’s office and will work tirelessly to tackle tough issues for the benefit of all Toledoans.”
Community leader Shawn T. Phelps, who attended the rally, said he supports Lopez.
“She’s qualified and the best candidate for the job,” said Phelps, former illustrious potentate for Mecca Temple No. 43. “It’s time for a change and the city to head in a new direction. She will do a good job for this city.”
Daryl Parr, a retired salon owner, said Lopez has 100 percent full support from him.
Toledo needs someone who can get things going, he said.
“I think she can do it,” Parr said.
Toledo attorney Frank Simmons II said Lopez has the community at heart.
Lopez knows Toledo residents need special attention.
“She’s the person to give it to us,” Simmons said. “She did a good job in the auditor’s office.”
Other mayoral candidates are: Toledo Mayor Mike Bell, an independent; Toledo City Councilman Joe McNamara, a Democrat; and Opal Covey, a Republican.
The primary election is Tuesday, Sept. 10. The top two vote getters will challenge each other for the Tuesday, Nov. 5, general election for the four-year term.
In 2004, voters elected Lopez as county recorder. Two years later, voters elected her county auditor and returned her to office in 2010.
Lopez is the first Hispanic elected to countywide offices.
She is asking residents to visit her website anitalopezformayor.com, like Anita Lopez for Mayor on Facebook and follow LopezforMayor on Twitter.
To receive updates on cell phones, text GOLOPEZ to 90210.