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Government & Politics
2020 is looking to be a pivotal year in politics. But this year's elections are about much more than the race for the White House. And the coronavirus pandemic is proving to be a complicating factor. WKSU, our colleagues at public radio stations across Ohio and the region and at NPR will bring you coverage of all the races from the national to the local level.

Fatheree Wins Democratic Primary for Summit County Sheriff

debate participants at table
Kandy Fatheree beat out seasoned law enforcement professionals (L to R) Dale Soltis, Patrick Hunt and John Peake in Democratic Primary.

Summit County’s next sheriff could be a woman.

Kandy Fatheree won the Democratic primary, garnering 42 percent of the vote. Her opponents were three seasoned law enforcement professionals.

Fatheree is a captain in charge of the civil division in the sheriff’s department.

Running a campaign during the pandemic was unusual, she said.

“It was extremely weird because you aren’t getting any kind of feedback,” she said. “Obviously being a law enforcement officer for 28 years, you get an opportunity to read people and when you’re talking to people you can tell whether or not you’re reaching them and whether it’s genuine. When you can’t talk to somebody face to face you can’t get that feel.”

Fatheree will face off against Republican Shane Barker in the General Election. Barker is a captain in the sheriff’s department in charge of the Correction Division.  He has served as a Macedonia city councilman.

The Summit County Sheriff oversees more than 300 deputies and 100 civilian employees.  If Fatheree becomes sheriff, she plans to make some changes.

“I want to increase our level of training to increase everybody’s knowledge, professionalism and I want to do that in conjunction with actively and aggressively going after other minority groups and high quality individuals to come into the sheriff’s office,” she said.

The winner in the November General Election will replace Sheriff Steve Barry, who will finish his second term and retire at the end of the year.