Toledo councilman, former mayor Jack Ford passes away

Former Toledo Mayor and city councilman Jack Ford has passed away at the age of 67.

TOLEDO -- Former Toledo Mayor and city councilman Jack Ford has passed away at the age of 67.

Ford died Saturday at Toledo Hospital surrounded by his family and friends, according to his family. State Rep. Teresa Fedor said he had been hospitalized about 10 days ago with flu-like symptoms.

The former mayor led the city of Toledo from 2002 to 2006. Since that time had represented his Toledo neighborhood as its district city councilman, introducing plans to strengthen the city's enforcement on drug abuse and speaking out for marriage equality . He was known for encouraging political newcomers in whom he saw potential.

"Toledo not only lost a great Councilman, and former Mayor, but a past State Representative, House Minority leader, Council President, dedicated public servant, father, and grandfather," Mayor Hicks-Hudson wrote in a statement. "Our City will deeply mourn his loss."

Ford's death comes just six weeks after the passing of the city's sitting mayor, D. Michael Collins. He died in early February after crashing his SUV in south Toledo and suffering cardiac arrest. Now Mayor Hicks-Hudson took the oath of office after Collins, age 70, was placed in critical condition.

"Jack Ford has been my very close friend for 35 years," Finkbeiner said in his statement. "Although we ran against each other for mayor in 2009, once that election was over our friendship resumed and got stronger. As able a community leader as Jack was, I considered him to be much more a friend than a fellow politician. I will miss him as a friend very much."

Another former Toledo mayor, John McHugh, passed away in late January at the age of 84.

Services for Ford are pending and are expected to be announced on Monday.

(The Associated Press contributed to this article.)

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