Summit County Democrats were well on their way late Tuesday to strengthening their stranglehold on county offices.
Democrats were leading all but one of the non-judicial seats up for election — and most of those leads were substantial. It’s not much of a surprise given that they held nearly every seat before Election Day and the county leans heavily Democrat.
Incumbent County Executive Russ Pry was leading Republican challenger Frank Larson, the mayor of Munroe Falls, with 64 percent of the vote, according to incomplete and unofficial results from the Board of Elections. Pry, who originally was appointed to the position, was seeking his second full four-year term.
“It’s exciting,” he said. “I’m glad that the voters of Summit County have appreciated the work I’ve done over the last five years. It’s always a humbling experience. It’s always an interesting time when you have to put your record up and see what people think about what the job you’ve done.”
Pry had campaigned on his record, which included smoothing relations with the County Council, building a new animal shelter and veterans service commission, and helping with the construction of a new technical center for Bridgestone Americas and worldwide headquarters for Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.
Several Democrats who had never been on the ballot before also were pulling off big wins.
Incumbent Fiscal Officer Kristen Scalise, who was appointed to the position last year when John Donofrio retired, was easily besting Republican Ron Antal with 66 percent of the vote. Scalise had campaigned on her experience and credentials as a certified public accountant and certified fraud examiner.
Democratic sheriff candidate Steve Barry, a retired sheriff’s captain, also was on his way to beating Republican Randy Rivers, a retired Cuyahoga Falls police captain, with 64 percent of the vote.
Incumbent Democrat Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh, who was first elected in 2000, was defeating Republican Candace Kim Knox with 68 percent of the vote.
Incumbent Democrat Engineer Al Brubaker was winning a second four-year term, beating Republican Bruce Robinson with 62 percent of the vote.
Incumbent Democrat Clerk of Courts Daniel Horrigan was beating Republican Kandi O’Connor with 62 percent of the vote.
In the County Council races, Democrats were holding on to their 9-2 advantage. All eight district seats and one of the at-large positions were on the ballot.
Incumbent Democrats Sandra Kurt (at-large), Nick Kostandaras (District 1), John Schmidt (District 2), Frank Comunale (District 4), Tamela Lee (District 5), Jerry Feeman (District 6), Tim Crawford (District 7) and Paula Prentice (District 8) were coasting to victory.
So was incumbent Republican Gloria Rodgers (District 3) — the only Republican who was leading late Tuesday.
Kostandaras defeated Republican Greg Roemer, who was hoping to join his father, Bill Roemer, on the council. Bill Roemer is an at-large council member.