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Summit County Democrats Vote Thursday Night on Replacement for Pry

photo of Ilene Shapiro, Russ Pry

Interim Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro is expected to be picked to fill the job through the end of the year at a meeting of Summit County Democrats’ Central Committee Thursday night. Shapiro took over on August 1 following the death of County Executive Russ Pry. She could also be picked to replace Pry on the November ballot for a full term.

Shapiro says her decade of experience on council – including her current term as president – has given her a high level of familiarity with county government, which she has used since taking over from Pry.

“I was over to where most of our Job & Family Services people are housed, just trying to figure out what everybody does [and] some background information on the numbers of people that are coming through. How our systems have been streamlined to be able to get them their benefits as quickly as possible. Obviously, there’s a stack of papers here to sign because the business of government goes forward.”

Shapiro says her close working relationships with Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan – as well as Russ Pry – have helped in the transition following Pry’s sudden death.

“Most of the people that are in this building and that work for the county know me in some form or fashion. So I think they’re comfortable with me.”

County Democrats will decide next week on who will fill Shapiro’s At-Large Council seat. She says she has no preference among the several Democrats who have expressed interest in the position.

Kabir Bhatia joined WKSU as a Reporter/Producer and weekend host in 2010. While a Kent State student, Bhatia served as a WKSU student assistant, working in the newsroom and for production.