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(Toledo News Now) -
Tuesday's primary election narrowed the field for Toledo Mayor from seven candidates to two. Moving on to the Nov. 5 general election are Mayor Michael Bell and fellow independent D. Michael Collins.
Bell finished first in the primary, gathering 26.7 percent of the vote. Collins was close behind with 24.45 percent.
Lucas County Auditor Anita Lopez narrowly missed the cut, with 22.92 percent of the vote, followed by Toledo City Councilman Joe McNamara with 22.44 percent, Alan Cox with 1.59 percent, Michael Konwinski with 1.19 percent and Opal Covey with .6 percent. Ballots cast for write-in candidates totaled .12 percent of the vote.
The election marks the first time since Toledo moved to a strong mayor form of government in 1993, that a democratic candidate for mayor has not moved forward into the general election contest.
Four years ago Bell had the backing of the Toledo Police Patrolman's Association and Local 92. This time, Collins has those endorsements. Over the past three and a half years, Collins has been a vocal critic of many public safety initiatives from the Bell administration. While the mayor says public safety will be a big focus of this race, he's also going to focus on economic growth and the city's improved budget picture.
"I think it stands up very well, realizing when we started, our revenue has increased $20 million since I took over in 2010. Most people don't know that. They don't know we've increased by 6,000 jobs. What we need to do is be clear with the message," explained Mayor Bell.
Last night's primary raises the question: Is the Democratic party losing its grip on the Glass City?