By Fletcher Word
The Truth Editor
State Senator Paula Hicks-Hudson announced her candidacy for Lucas County Commissioner on Friday, January 26, surrounded by a host of local union officials and supporters.
During the campaign opener at UAW Local 12 on Ashland Street, a number of labor officials voiced their support for the former city council president and mayor.
“She’s all in,” said Bruce Baumhower, president of UAW Local 12. “She was all in when she was mayor … she’s got so much experience at being a leader and she’s earned her spot.”
Joining UAW Local 12 in backing the state senator were the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 2415, UAW Local 14 and Teamsters Local 20.
Mark Schmiehausen, president of Teamsters Local 20, said “Paula has always been right for Toledo and the unions … she is a true champion of the community and of labor.”
“She’s one of the strongest advocates for labor in this community,” added Randy Desposito, president AFSCME Local 2415.
Hicks-Hudson will face Anita Lopez in the March 19 Democratic Party primary for the right to move to the general election in November. Lopez, the former Lucas County Auditor, was appointed to the commissioner post this month after longtime Commissioner Tina Skeldon Wozniak retired in December.
Hicks-Hudson, a native of Hamilton, Ohio, earned her undergraduate degree from Spelman College, a masters of art from Colorado State University and her law degree from the University of Iowa College of Law.
A long-time resident of Toledo, she has practiced law specializing in business and education, among other matters. Hicks-Hudson was appointed to City Council in 2011 to replace Michael Ashford. She won a special election as well as a general election later that year and in 2013 was elected president of city council by her colleagues. She succeeded the late D. Michael Collins as mayor upon his death and won a special election in 2015 to continue in that post. She lost a general election to current Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz in 2017. She won a seat in the Ohio House of Representatives in 2019 and a seat in the Ohio Senate in 2022.
Hicks-Hudson said she will use the knowledge and experience she has gained at the state capital to better the lives of Lucas County residents.
She ticked off the issues that she hopes to address as commissioner including improving physical and mental health care, reducing crime, ensuring that women have the right to make their own health choices.
Most importantly, “this race is about bringing home state tax dollars back to Lucas County,” said Hicks-Hudson.
Expressing her gratitude at the support of labor, she also noted that she was thankful “for the support of so many citizens” in the community.
“In northwest Ohio, we get the job done,” she said.