Beacon Journal staff writer
Summit County Democrats picked Sandra Kurt on Thursday night to fill an at-large vacancy on County Council.
She beat out four others who were seeking the appointment.
Kurt, 49, of Akron, is an industrial engineer at Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. She also was an Akron city councilwoman representing Ward 8 until winning the county seat.
''Summit County at-large will allow me to serve a broader part of the community and also allow me, I think, to focus on bigger initiatives and policies,'' Kurt said.
During her nomination speech, Kurt touted her background as an engineer and analytical approach to problems.
About 200 Democratic precinct committee members gathered inside the auditorium at North High School in Akron to make the appointment.
It was a close race between Kurt and former county councilman Pete Crossland, who lost his at-large seat last fall. The committee members had to vote three times before Kurt received the 51 percent majority needed.
Cuyahoga Falls mortgage company manager Russ Iona and Akron attorney John Fickes were knocked out in the first two rounds of voting. Akron attorney Adam Van Ho, who was well behind Kurt and Crossland in the second round of voting, withdrew his candidacy before the third vote.
In the final tally, Kurt won 109-84 over Crossland.
She replaces former at-large Councilman Jon Poda, a Democrat, who resigned from the 11-member body to take a job as a deputy director with the county Fiscal Office. Poda had been elected to a four-year term last fall.
After winning the county seat Thursday, Kurt immediately resigned her city position and was sworn into office by Akron Municipal Judge Kathryn Michael.
She will have to run for election in the fall of 2012 to serve the remaining two years of the term.
Akron City Council now will have to find someone to fill her vacancy.
Rick Armon can be reached at 330-996-3569 or firstname.lastname@example.org.