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Government & Politics

Ilene Shapiro Elected to Full Term as Summit County Executive

Barley House in dowtown Akron
Tim Rudell
Shapiro Watch Party at The Barley House

Ilene Shapiro easily won a full term as Summit County Executive in Tuesday’s election. 

Since Summit County elected its first County Executive in 1981, Democrat John Morgan, no Republican has ever won the office. The string remains unbroken. Democrat Ilene Shapiro won with 58.7 percent of vote, 134,287 to 94,335 in the unofficial final count, over Republican Bill Roemer.

photo of Ilene Shapiro
Credit Tim Rudell / WKSU
Ilene Shapiro awaited election results Tuesday night at a watch party in Akron.

She had been appointed to the office in August, 2016 to finish the five months remaining in the term of long-time Executive Russell Pry who died of complications from cancer.  She was the president of County Council at the time, and therefore next in the line of succession.  But in the weeks before he passed Pry asked Shapiro, a political ally and friend, to run in his place for the new term he would have sought if his health permitted.

Asked if winning her own four-year term makes the job look different to her, she said no. “When they came to my home and swore me in, the magnitude of the job came with that. Because people come in and need help every single day and that continuity of government has to stay in place to serve the people that we’re elected to serve.”

Shapiro had been on County Council for ten years, with the last four as President.