Joe McNamara continues to pile up the public events and endorsements in his campaign for mayor - aiming to create a sense of momentum, while Democratic opponent Anita Lopez remains largely under the radar.
(Lopez claimed McNamara's campaign is beginning to lose traction.)
McNamara on Monday accused Lopez of refusing a debate with him because she fears having to face ethical claims he's brought against her (for using Auditor staffers to run her mayoral campaign).
He cited my colleague Ignazio Messina's report that Lopez makes her staff question reporters at length when they want to interview her and said she can't answer questions without getting prompts from her "handlers."
WNWO caught her actually conferring with aides before answering their question on this very point.Officially, Sept. 10 is a nonpartisan election, but the two Democrats are battling like they're in a Democratic primary.
McNamara acknowledges as much by demanding a Democrats-only debate with Lopez.
Lopez, who has nothing to gain from debating McNamara, says she won't debate unless all the candidates are invited - there are eight now. Anything less would be "disrespectful" to the other candidates, she said.
(Disrespectful to Don Gozdowski who in his 2005 debate opportunity "donned" fake nose, moustache, and glasses to sing "I Gotta Be Me?"
(Desrespectful to Opal Covey who says she is a "prophetess of God" and claims she won all her previous elections but the votes were stolen from her?)
The Lucas County Democratic Party is staying neutral. Chairman Ron Rothenbuhler said he's not been asked to host a Democratic debate.
"The campaign managers are running their campaigns. That's not something they've asked me about," Rothenbuhler said.
Here's his prediction about the frontrunners of the Sept. 10 primary: "Obviously it's [Mayor Mike] Bell, Anita, and Joe."
Here is the latest from McNamara:
Endorsements are from Keith Wilkowski (unsuccessful Democratic mayoral candidate for mayor in 2009), Jennifer Brunner (unsuccessful Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in 2010), and Angela Zimmann (unsuccessful Democratic candidate for the Ohio 5th Congressional District seat in 2012). Also the Sierra Club.
McNamara announced he will open his campaign headquarters in the Spitzer Building on June 26 and is selling tickets - $25 to $2,000.
And today we have news from the Lopez campaign. She's hired Diane May as her communications director. One of May's previous jobs was doing research on the Lee Fisher campaign in 2010. Fisher defeated Brunner - see above - for the Democratic Senate nomination then lost to Republican Rob Portman.