Cleveland--�I�m here to serve the community,� said Cleveland Ward 14 city council candidate Joe Santiago to a crowd of about 200 at an event organized by the Hispanic Roundtable.
The October 25 candidate forum on Cleveland�s west side gave mayoral and council candidates a late opportunity to meet voters.
Santiago, who has become the frontrunner in the race against two-term incumbent Nelson Cintron, also took the opportunity to talk about his commitment to public safety and public service. He talked about his time as a military servicemember during Desert Storm.
The openly gay Santiago, who narrowly lost to Cintron four years ago, is endosed by the Lesbian and Gay Victory Fund, Cleveland Stonewall Democrats, community activist Jose Feliciano, council members Joe Cimperman and Emily Lipovan Holan, organized labor unions Painters District Council 6, Operators Local 18, Municipal Workers Local 1099, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 868 and the newspaper El Sol de Cleveland.
�Joe Santiago knows the pulse of Ward 14,� said the paper�s publisher, Randy Michael.
Santiago has a full schedule of events, fundraising, and strategy to get voters to the polls on November 8.
In Toledo, openly gay city council-at-large candidate Dave Schulz has been the most aggressive campaigner in the field of 12 vying for six seats.
Schulz calls his campaign �an insurgency� explaining that it �is a threat to the status quo.�
The founder of the Log Cabin Republicans of Northwest Ohio has delivered on his promise to �make lots of noise.�
Schulz has a platform of radical reform for Toledo�s charter, including shrinking the size of city council, which would put him out of a job. He is adding to this by going after incumbents on ethics violations and their willingness to exploit �loopholes� for personal gain.
The Ohio Election Commission found probable cause October 12 to pursue complaints filed by Schulz against opponent Bob McCloskey for using the term �re-elect� on campaign literature.
Schulz contends that McCloskey, who is currently a ward council member, can�t be �re-elected� to an at-large seat he has never held.
The commission will hear the case November 3.
McCloskey was the top vote-getter in the primary race.
Schulz has subsequently filed three more complaints against McCloskey for using campaign funds to purchase sports tickets that the candidate may have used, signs that don�t say who paid for them, and failing to include billboard ads on campaign finance reports.
Earlier, Schulz put another incumbent, attorney Karyn McConnell Hancock, on the defensive for representing criminal defendants in Toledo Municipal Court, which he called a conflict of interest, and complained that Hancock�s influence got her special treatment for a parking ticket.
Schulz says he will be busy the rest of the campaign raising more money to get out a mailing, and working to get out the vote on election day.
Schulz, also Victory Fund endorsed, says he is working especially hard to get LGBT voters to the polls for him.
�I anticipate they will vote for me, but there�s been no support from LGBT organizations so far,� said Schulz.
�Individuals, yes, but organizations, no. I think they are afraid of the party label.�
In Columbus, Mary Jo Hudson is defending her seat on city council. Columbus� first lesbian elected official, Hudson is, by most accounts, leading her opponents and is likely to retain the seat.
Lakewood�s Nickie Antonio finished a solid third behind two incumbents in the primary election. If she finishes as well November 8, she will become that city�s first lesbian elected official.
If he is elected, Mark Tumeo will give another Cleveland suburb, Cleveland Heights, its first openly gay elected official.
In Dayton, Joe Lacey�s school board race got a boost October 21 when it was endorsed by the Victory Fund.
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