Lucas County Treasurer Wade Kapszukiewicz raised four times as much money as Toledo Councilman Tom Waniewski in the race to unseat the incumbent, Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson.
Contributions to the mayor’s campaign war chest during the same time were a mystery as she did not file a semiannual report by Monday’s 4 p.m. deadline. Her campaign was told it was not required.
Mr. Kapszukiewicz raised $152,456 and Mr. Waniewski raised $35,010 during the first six months of 2017.
“We were proud to file and are excited about the amount of support we have received, especially compared to the other candidates,” Mr. Kapszukiewicz said. “I am extraordinarily pleased with the support I have received in the early part of the campaign, and when you compare my report to Tom’s, there is no question that I am seen as the candidate with the best chance to bring the change that city hall needs.”
Mr. Waniewski said he was not worried about the wide financial gap between him and Mr. Kapszukiewicz. Instead, he is concentrating on voter contact with the help of volunteers.
“I am happy with what we raised; we are spending it wisely; we are continuing to raise money, and we have a plan,” he said. “We budgeted according to that plan, and we are on target. This past weekend, we were at events that no [other candidates] were present.”
The mayor’s campaign manager, Sam Melendez, said the none of the mayoral candidates were required to file the semiannual report.
“I was told by the board [of elections] that because [Mayor Hicks-Hudson] is required to file a post-primary report by Aug. 31, with reporting through Aug. 23, she was not required to file a semiannual this year,” he said.
Mr. Melendez referred to the Ohio Revised Code, which states the filing is optional under the circumstances in Toledo for the mayoral race.
He refused to reveal how much the mayor raised during the first six months of 2017 or the fund-raising goal.
Mr. Kapszukiewicz said he expects much of the mayor’s support to come from union donations. Ms. Hicks-Hudson is the endorsed Democrat in the race.
“There was some murkiness about whether or not we were required to file, but we thought it would be safer to file, and also, our campaign, and my office when I am mayor, is committed to transparency,” he said. “I will let her campaign’s decision not to file speak for itself.”
Mr. Kapszukiewicz carried over $34,248 from the previous reporting period, raised the $152,456 from Jan. 1 through the end of June; spent $106,711 during that period, and was left with $80,017 on June 30.
His report includes many donations of $250, $500, and $1,000. It includes a cross-section of Democrats and Republicans. Among the donations were $1,000 from the campaign fund of Democratic Councilman Matthew Cherry; $1,000 from Teamsters Local 20; $250 from Lucas County Commissioner Carol Contrada; $1,000 from real estate broker Joe Swolsky, and $5,000 from Aaron Hood, a high school classmate of Mr. Kapszukiewicz now living in New York.
Mr. Waniewski carried over $40,234 from the previous reporting period, raised the $35,010 from Jan. 1 through the end of June; spent $42,357 during that period, and was left with $32,887 on June 30.
His donations included $2,000 from Don Soloman of Wall Street in Toledo; $1,500 from Michael Gibbons of Ann Arbor; $1,000 from Martin O’Brien of Sylvania; $1,000 from Robert Shick of Maumee, and $1,000 from Ken Knight of North Erie Street in Toledo.
Former Mayor Mike Bell, also a Republican, donated $150 to Mr. Waniewski’s campaign.
Also on the Sept. 12 mayoral primary ballot, but with a history of attracting few votes, is self-described “Prophetess” Opal Covey. Ms. Covey did not file a report.
The top two vote-getters in the primary will face off in the Nov. 7 general election for a four-year term.