Toledo Democrats trailing in primary election - WNEM TV 5

Toledo Democrats trailing in primary election

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TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

The Lucas County Democratic Party is now placing its focus on the at-large Toledo City Council race, and getting its candidates elected in November.

With no Democrats clearing the primary in the mayoral race, some say the primary results should serve as a major wake-up call for the party.

Councilman Adam Martinez, a Democrat, was in a similar position four years ago. He finished seventh in the primary and is now trying to finish in the top six in November.

"Am I satisfied with the seventh position? No, but it's not impossible to be in the top six. It's just going to take a lot of hard work," he said.

Democratic Councilman Steve Steel finished fifth, and Shaun Enright, who was the endorsed Democrat to replace Phil Copeland on council, finished a distant eighth.

The primary raises a question of whether or not the Democratic Party is losing its clout locally.

"Certainly we're not happy about it," Martinez said. "It just shows we have to work harder. One of the things we should have been doing as a party is getting out the vote."

Independent candidate Sandy Spang finished third in the primary. She credits grassroots support and being able to focus on her message for the need to boost small business opportunities in Toledo.

"I think things that would make a person choose a party label at the federal level don't resonate as much at the local level, where we really want the same thing," Spang said.

Independent candidate Theresa Gabriel finished sixth in the primary. She believes having more Independents on council will make city government more effective.

"I think it'll work well because people will be finally thinking about working for the betterment of the citizens of Toledo," she said.

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