Katie Moline, Anita López and Carrie Hartman

By La Prensa Staff

Jan. 8, 2024: Longtime Lucas County Auditor Anita López has changed county offices, after receiving the county Democratic party’s nomination to fill a vacant seat on the Lucas County Commission following the retirement of Tina Skeldon Wozniak from that post last month, and after being sworn-in Jan. 8th, as Lucas County Commissioner.

But there’s a huge political risk involved in receiving that temporary appointment. Ms. López will have to run for re-election later this year to finish the unexpired county commissioner term. also serves as the county’s Democratic party chairman. If Ms. López loses that election, she will be out of elected office altogether after serving the past 16 years as county auditor.

Ms. López and Ms. Paula Hicks Hudson each received a nomination to become county commissioner during a Lucas County Democratic Party central committee meeting held at the UAW Local 12 hall Saturday, January 6.

“I’ve dedicated my life to public service as an attorney and I’m here to continue to fight for all citizens who are present here today, whether you vote for me or not,” said Ms. López. “I am going to fight for labor. I’m going to fight for fairness. I’m going to fight for better wages.”

But Ms. Hicks Hudson, a former Toledo mayor and state representative, mildly surprised her supporters and other party members by withdrawing her nomination in the name of party unity.

Ursula Barrera-Richards and Anita López

“I was going to ask for your vote. I was going to ask that you consider voting for me,” said Ms. Hicks Hudson. “But I listened to all of the people that I talked to, those that called me back and had honest discussions and concern for our party—not concern about this position but concern that we are going to move this county forward.”

Ms. López would face Waterville city councilman John Rozic, who is running unopposed in the Republican primary for county commissioner.

Ms. Lopez, an attorney, has subsequently resigned her county auditor position to become a commissioner. Emmanuel Yakumithis was appointed acting auditor.

Toledo City Council member Katie Moline, who took the podium to nominate Ms. López for county commissioner, is the likely Democratic party nominee to replace Ms. López as county auditor. Ms. Moline, a certified public accountant, has an educational and professional background in finance and has been a constant thorn in the side of Toledo Mayor Kapszukiewicz over city spending since first being elected to city council.

The party central committee must meet again within 45 days to consider a county auditor nominee.

The central committee meeting had roughly 200 people in attendance. Central committee chairperson Ursula Barrera-Richards, a Latina attorney and human resources chief at the Zepf Center, presided over the meeting.