Deadline Now: Toledo Mayoral Candidate D. Michael Collins

Deadline Now: Toledo Mayoral Candidate D. Michael Collins

Friday, October 4, 2013

Toledo City Councilman D. Michael Collins (I) faces incumbent Mike Bell in next month's election for Toledo mayor. Mr. Collins joins host Jack Lessenberry in this episode of "Deadline Now" to discuss the election. What are Mr. Collins' goals for the city, if elected, and how would he accomplish those goals?

Here are Jack Lessenberry's Final Thoughts for this edition of "Deadline Now:"

I wouldn’t take sides in any race for mayor of Toledo; for one thing, I don’t live in the city. But I have to tell you that part of me was very happy to see D. Michael Collins win the primary.
Why? First, because very few people expected him to.

My favorite political photograph of all time is the one of President Harry Truman, grinning broadly and holding up a newspaper with that immortal headline, “Dewey Defeats Truman.”

The little man from Missouri fooled all the pollsters and the pundits. Something like that happened in Toledo on September 10th. But I was also pleased that Mike Collins won because he raised and spent far less money than either Anita Lopez or Joe McNamara. Too often in politics these days, it seems like he or she who has the most bucks wins.

Having said all that, however, Collins still has to convince the voters he would do a better job than Mike Bell. The key moment in the campaign between then-President Jimmy Carter and challenger Ronald Reagan came when Reagan told a national TV audience, “are you better off than you were four years ago?”

To win this election, D. Michael Collins has to convince voters that they would be better off four years from now with him at the helm than they would be after another four years of Mike Bell.

How this will all play out is hard to say.  Mayor Bell finished first in the primary, but with only a little more than one-fourth of the vote. That’s a dangerously low level of support for an incumbent.

But he still won five hundred more votes than Mr. Collins in a primary with fairly low turnout. We don’t know what will happen in November, except that nobody can take anything for granted.

What we have to hope for, however, is clear. We have to hope that in 2017, whoever wins this election can ask Toledo, “are you better off now than four years ago?” with the sure knowledge that for most people, the answer is bound to be yes.