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Local races drive voters to the polls in Summit County

Andrew Meyer
Flags line the walkway to a polling station in Hudson, Ohio.

This year's election in Summit County mirrored much of what was going on around Ohio with local races for the most part being at the top of the ticket.

A number of communities held elections for council or mayor. In Cuyahoga Falls, Mayor Don Walters took almost 70 percent of the vote in easily securing a third term with a victory over Republican Meri Stemple.

The race for Stow Court Clerk also went to a Democrat – incumbent Amber Zibritosky – over Republican and former Stow Councilman Mike Rasor. Rasor narrowly lost to Casey Weinstein in a 2018 race for an Ohio House of Representatives seat.

In Hudson, three at-large council seats were up on Tuesday, including a bid by the lone incumbent in this year's race -- Nicole Kowalski. She was re-elected along with newcomers Chris Banweg and Karen Heater, who was born in Hudson. Heater says her primary concerns include how the city communicates with residents, as well as modernizing the zoning code, which she describes as "outdated."

"They've been patchworked to try to fit different types of commercial and residential construction in places that may not make the most sense," Heater said. "There's not a lot of property left to develop, and I think we need to be thoughtful in how we plan for the next 20 years."

There was one federal race before some of Summit County's voters. Longtime congresswoman Marcia Fudge (D) represented Ohio's 11th Congressional District which includes Cleveland along with parts of Akron. Fudge was tapped by President Joe Biden to be his HUD secretary. In the special election to fill the remainder of Fudge's term, Shontel Brown easily defeated her Republican challenger, LaVerne Gore throughout the entire district including by an almost two-to-one margin in voting districts in Summit County.

Get complete Summit County election results here.

Kabir Bhatia is a senior reporter for Ideastream Public Media's arts & culture team.
Andrew Meyer is the Deputy Editor of News at Ideastream Public Media.