Toledo, Ohio , United States
Jun 15, 2010 10:25pm
|Info||Ben Konop ran for and was elected to the Board of Lucas County Commissioners on a platform of advocating progressive change. |
After more than two years as a county commissioner, he’s developed a track record practicing what he preached.
Since winning his seat as commissioner in November, 2006 with nearly 65 percent of the vote, the Democrat Konop has labored tirelessly to make county government work better for all Lucas County residents. He has routinely fought for county government to help create jobs, called for more practical use of taxpayer money and transparency in government affairs, and has promoted the area’s cultural assets by designing programs to aid local artists and encourage young people to remain or return to our community.
Konop, now 33, has Democratic political roots that trace back to his volunteering on then-Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign in 1992. The next year, Konop was appointed by U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo) to serve as a page for the House of Representatives’ Democratic Caucus. While in college at Emory University, Konop worked in Congresswoman Kaptur’s office in Washington D.C.
It was these treasured experiences working for some of America’s finest Democratic leaders that Konop developed a passion to serve the public. In 2004, Konop ran against incumbent U.S. Rep. Mike Oxley (R., Findlay) in the heavily Republican Fourth Congressional District. Despite being outspent 10 to one, Konop garnered the highest vote total of any Congressional challenger in the state of Ohio. He was the first federal Democratic candidate since 1932 to carry Allen County.
Undeterred by his 2004 election night defeat, Konop declared his candidacy for the seat he now holds in December, 2005. He frequented the county’s churches, coffee shops, barbershops, and front porches sharing his message of “Vision and Values for Lucas County,” which carried him to victories in the Democratic primary and general elections.
Konop grew up and attended public schools in our community, and graduated from Ottawa Hills High School in 1994. He attended Emory University and received a bachelor’s degree in history, and also studied history and literature at Oxford University in England. During his time at Emory, Konop was a varsity-letter winning basketball player.
Konop received his law degree from the University of Michigan in 2000, and went on to practice law at the international firm Fulbright & Jaworski, LLP. While he represented Fortune 500 companies in complex litigation, he also served on several volunteer legal projects and helped start a mentoring program for at-risk junior high school students.
He was a full-time assistant visiting law professor at the University of Toledo in the 2005-06 school year, and has also taught various law courses as an adjunct professor at Toledo and Ohio Northern University. He also taught political science at Bluffton University.
Konop often credits much of his success to his parents, Alan and Barbara Konop. Mr. Konop is an attorney and Mrs. Konop has been a teacher, social worker, and active community volunteer. Konop’s grandparents immigrated to Toledo from Poland and Russia in the early 20th century and sowed their roots as shopkeepers and small business owners.
Konop attends Etz Chayim Synagogue in Toledo and lives in Toledo’s Warehouse District downtown.