The Lucas County Democratic Party recently endorsed Ms.
Morris to fill the unexpired term of District 6 council member
Chris Delaney, a retired Toledo police officer. He
recently took a full-time job elsewhere and resigned his seat
In Toledo, like in many citizens, an endorsement from party
colleagues is as good as gold, because Democrats hold a majority
on city council, which will choose Delaney’s replacement.
Six people submitted applications for the open seat.
“I am very happy the party has the confidence in me to uphold
the ideals of the Democratic party,” she said. “Even when I was
younger, I would work on campaigns with my mother.”
Word of her endorsement prompted several heartfelt
congratulatory messages on social media for the prominent member
of both the Lucas County Latina Democratic Empowerment Club and
Latina Women’s Democratic Caucus.
“So proud of my sister Theresa Morris for throwing her hat in
the ring for Toledo City Council,” wrote her brother Joel
Castellanos on her Facebook page. “Through her ACTIONS,
rather than political rhetoric, she has proven to be a true
servant to the public.”
Once Ms. Morris is appointed, she would have to run a special
election during the citywide primary Sept. 14, 2021 to keep the
seat. Toledo City Council was scheduled to vote on the
appointment Tuesday afternoon, just after press-time. She will
become just the second local Latino elected officeholder,
joining long-time Lucas County Auditor Anita López.
“Many times, I have been one of the few diverse voices in the
room. I don’t like it. I would love to have more diversity in
our public service,” she said. “It has helped me to build a
remarkable career. It’s a noble cause. It’s a noble calling. I
hope it sparks others into public service.”
While she has kept a low profile since her endorsement, Ms.
Morris admitted to LaPrensa in a 2018 interview that she
had aspirations to one day run for local office. She cited the
fractured political climate in Washington as a reason to start
local and not seek a bigger political stage. Her original intent
was to one day run for the Toledo Public Schools board of
education, but then her home council district seat became
“I’ve lived in my district my entire life, short of stints going
to college. This is my ground zero over here and I’ve just
always thought it would be a natural extension to serve my
community,” she said. District 6 is a working class section of
Toledo, which spans from Point Place across Alexis Road, and
takes in much of North Toledo and parts of West Toledo.
Ms. Morris is most known for working as Congresswoman Marcy
Kaptur’s aide, a post she’s held since 1993. But she plans to
retire after 27 years of federal government service to devote
her full attention her city council duties.
The Start High School graduate received a Distinguished Hispanic
Ohioan award from the Ohio Commission on Hispanic/Latino Affairs
in 2018 for her longevity as a Congressional aide—perhaps
holding the distinction as the longest-serving Latina on Capitol
Hill in that capacity. At least that is what the current
“I’ve always heard a call to service. I think you should always
work to make your community a better place,” Ms Morris told
LaPrensa in a 2018 profile. “I enjoy it. I enjoy especially
meeting people of different cultures, in different communities.
It doesn’t get tiring to me. It’s still about learning about
other people and other places in the world and what’s going on.”
Locally, Ms. Morris has served on the boards of WGTE Public
Media where she once worked and Team Recovery, after losing a
loved one to a drug overdose.
Ms. Morris earned her bachelor’s degree in 1993 from Alma
College in Michigan, with a focus on Spanish Language and Latin
American Literature. She later earned a Master’s degree in
organizational leadership from Lourdes University in 2014.
Her family’s back story is a bit different than that of the
typical Northwest Ohio immigrant who started as a migrant
worker. Her grandfather came directly from México to work on the
railroad during World War II, but sent money back home when his
mother needed surgery. He had formerly worked in the silver
mines of México after growing up in the small town of Taxco in
the state of Guerrero.
Both of her parents broke new ground in Toledo. Her father
became a Toledo firefighter at a time when there were few
Latinos in the department. Her mother trained to become a union
electrician in the 1970s when few women held the career. Both of
her parents are now retired.
“Between the two of them, they certainly gave me a strong
foundation of fighting hard for what you believe in, even if
you’re different,” said Ms. Morris in 2018. “I’ve had a
wonderful foundation from my parents. I can’t say enough good
things about them.”