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La Liga de Las Americas

Phil Copeland: Top vote-getter for city council seeks Thurber’s seat

By Fletcher Word, La Prensa Political Reporter


It was a busy week for Toledo City Councilman Phil Copeland.

Copeland, a Democrat, the secretary-treasurer of Laborers Local 500, and an at-large city councilman who finished first in last November’s council election, announced his candidacy for Lucas County Commissioner at a news conference last Tuesday.

City Councilperson Phil Copeland with Lucas County Commissioner Tina Skeldon Wozniak.


One of the revelations during the last campaign was that Copeland had an outstanding tax bill that goes back to the time when he made an investment in the 1980s. At last week’s announcement of his candidacy for Lucas County commissioner, Copeland brandished a sheath of papers showing that he had paid his debts both to the federal government and to the State of Ohio.


Copeland, whose uncle, Bill Copeland, was a commissioner from 1990 to 2002, was appointed to Council in early 2005 and won the seat on his own merits last November. He will be vying for the commissioner post currently held by Republican Maggie Thurber.


Thurber is facing allegations of having funneled cash to the George W. Bush presidential re-election campaign received from Tom Noe, who added a 53-count indictment (by the Lucas County grand jury filed on Monday by Lucas County Prosecutor Julia Bates) to his already plentiful federal indictment. Noe has pled not guilty to all charges.  


Thurber has not yet announced if she will be running for re-election in the fall.


Copeland will be battling fellow Democrats attorney Ben Konop, a law professor at The University of Toledo, and Tim Wagener, mayor of Maumee, in the May 2nd primary.


On Saturday, Copeland hosted his annual Valentine’s Day’s fundraiser/party at the Civic Center Promenade at the Erie Street Market. About 300 supporters turned out for the first official event of the campaign to listen to a few brief speeches from Commissioners Tina Skeldon Wozniak and Pete Gerken and Lucas County Clerk of Courts Bernie Quilter, who announced their support for the Copeland campaign, and to dance to entertainment provided by KGB.

Lucas County Prosecutor Julia Bates announcing the 53-count indictment against Tom Noe filed on Monday, Feb. 13.  To the right is attorney John J. Weglian, Special Units Division Chief of the Lucas County Prosecutor’s Office.








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