Letter to The Editor: A Rebuttal: Divisive Decisions

Tony Totty

By Tony Totty, Democrat, President UAW Local 14

I found the opinion piece titled Divisive Decisions to be an incorrect and incomplete narrative when it pulled back the curtain of Toledo politics. Yes, the vacancy of Tina Skeldon Wozniak’s Commissioner position is being contested between Ohio State Senator and Toledo’s former Mayor Paula Hicks Hudson and Anita Lopez, the County Auditor.  I believe the article had the timeline wrong for how we arrived at this point.

When Commissioner Skeldon Wozniak made her announcement for retirement in the early fall, this is when Senator Hicks Hudson expressed interest in the position and started the process of exploring support. In the Sojourner Truth August 10th edition, the Embracing Change article wrote:

Finally, Paula Hicks-Hudson makes a legit case for candidacy, given Lucas County’s demographics. Notably, there hasn’t been a minority on the Board of Lucas County Commissioners since Bill Copeland, the first African American to hold a countywide post, retired in 2002.

Hicks-Hudson certainly has the credentials and a remarkable service record, including terms on Toledo City Council, city council president, mayor, state representative, state senator, and Lucas County Democratic Party interim chair.

This was the same article that announced the retirement of Commissioner Skeldon Wozniak.  Anita Lopez wasn’t even mentioned in the article as a person of interest, instead it was Michael Hart that had the support of the building trades. This also contradicts the narrative of a “delayed entry” from the former mayor.

Personally, I was for the third option of having a place holder in the interim and letting the primary take its course.  This would have prevented the Central Committee from taking a hard vote that would only deepen divisions. Another benefit from this option would be that neither candidate would lose their current leadership position.  Now, if one candidate is appointed temporarily and loses in the primary they will be out of their current position.  Senator Hicks Hudson agreed to the interim place holder compromise, but her opponent apparently would not.  This was unfortunate.  Fortunately, we do have two qualified candidates for this position.

This is the time when the black and brown community’s need to come together on many issues like

  • Fair maps to stop gerrymandering that takes our voices away for representation.
  • Woman’s reproductive issues.
  • Medical debt relief and healthcare for our community’s
  • Education diversity
  • Stopping Donald Trump from being elected, while reelecting Sherrod Brown and Marcy Kaptur.

I am a lifelong Democrat that supports the party’s values.  I believe that we should come together for the common good of our community with these values. I find it offensive when organizations that don’t represent our best interest have such sway on our party.

The Divisive Decision article cited the Building Trades Union as a “Key party faction”.  In the recent past they have endorsed Republican Derrick Merrin over Erika White, Republican Josh Williams over Nancy Larson and Frank Larose as Secretary of State while inviting him to our Labor Day Parade for a photo op. With endorsements like these, one might question what our “base” as a Democratic Party is made up of.     Some in the “base” shouldn’t help elect those on the other side of the isle that are the architects for our community’s demise. One has to ask if pitting respected leaders in our communities against each other wasn’t a plan to further divide us. Once again, we need to come together to advance our community and our region.

In Solidarity,

Tony Totty