In his letter resigning as chairman of the Lucas County Democratic Party's Central Committee Thursday, defeated mayoral candidate Joe McNamara alluded to the party's weak showing in the race for six council at-large seats.
Only three Democrats emerged among the six highest vote-getters - incumbent Steve Steel and challengers Jack Ford and Larry Sykes. Two incumbents - Adam Martinez and Shaun Enright -finished seventh and eighth. Mr. Ford, Mr. Sykes, and another Democrat, Joshua Fowler, did not seek the party's endorsement.
The other top-six finishers were Republican Rob Ludeman and independents Sandy Spang and Theresa Gabriel. Occupying slots 9 through 12 were independent Bill Delaney, Republicans James Nowak and Joe Celusta, and Green Sean Nestor.
Chairman Ron Rothenbuhler said he personally urged both Ford and Sykes to come in for a party screening, but neither did. He said he was not able to reach Fowler. Ford told us previously that he felt "burned" when the party did not support his re-election in 2005 and again in January when it supported Enright rather than him to be appointed to a vacant seat on council.
McNamara remains on the committee, which is made up of elected representatives from each of the county's 353 precincts.
Here's McNamara's letter:
Dear Chairman Rothenbuhler:
We are in a critical time for the Lucas County Democratic Party. It is disappointing that we do not have a full slate of Democrats to run for Toledo City Council. We need leaders who can devote their full time and energy into recruiting, training and electing Democrats for offices at all levels.
I am currently turning the page to a new chapter in my life and think it would be better for a new leader of the Central Committee to be elected to help facilitate this change. Therefore, I am resigning as Chairman of the Lucas County Democratic Central Committee effectively immediately.
I hope that you and the new Chairman will be successful in upcoming efforts to elect Democrats.