Two Ohio House races in the Akron area will have Democratic primary elections March 6.


34th District

Area: North and central Akron.


Candidate: Derrick Hall, 35, of Akron.

Personal: Engaged with no children.

Professional: Founding member of Elder & Hall LLC law firm, which has offices in Akron and Circleville; manages pharmacy at Giant Eagle in Chagrin Falls.

Education: Law degree from Ohio State University; master’s in business administration from Ohio State; doctor of pharmacy from Ohio State; bachelor of science in chemistry from University of Akron.

Political experience: None.

Most important issue facing state: “Our educational system is fundamentally flawed.”



Candidate: Vernon Sykes, 60, of Akron.

Personal: Married to Barbara, who also has held office; two children, two grandchildren.

Professional: State representative (currently for the 44th District).

Education: Bachelor of arts degree in organizational behavior from Ohio University; master’s degree in social and applied economics from Wright State University; master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University; doctorate in public administration and urban studies from joint program of University of Akron and Cleveland State.

Political experience: State representative, 2007 to present and March 1983 to December 2000. Akron City Council Ward 3, January 1980 to March 1983.

Most important issue facing state: “Generation, creation and maintaining job opportunities.”



36th District

Area: Semi-circle around Akron to the north, east and south. Includes Coventry Township, Green, Springfield Township and Lakemore, and parts of Mogadore, Tallmadge and Cuyahoga Falls.


Candidate: Paul Colavecchio, 55, of Cuyahoga Falls.

Personal: Married to Diana, who is president pro-tem of Cuyahoga Falls City Council; one daughter.

Professional: Law practice with his wife in Cuyahoga Falls.

Education: Law degree from Cleveland Marshall College of Law; bachelor of arts in political science from Kent State University.

Political experience: Never held office. Ran for Summit County Council in 2008 and for state representative in 2006.

Most important issue facing state: “I would try to get along because it’s for everybody’s benefit.”

Website: Under construction.


Candidate: Jason Cowling, 37, of Clinton.

Personal: Married to Shannon; two daughters.

Professional: President of Cybercation, a nonprofit organization that encourages high school students to go into information technology fields in college.

Education: Bachelor of arts degree in English from Hiram College; working on his master’s degree in political science at Kent State.

Political experience: Never held office. Intern for former state Rep. Steve Dyer.

Most important issue facing state: “The economy. ... Obviously, that means jobs and job creation.”