Falls Council Election Takes Shape
Alex Hall, 02-07-2019

Councilman Paul Colavecchio (D-At-large), pictured left, will vacate his seat at the end of the current term, while Tim Gorbach (D-At-large), pictured right, will mount a campaign to occupy the seat himself and force the Summit County Democratic Central Committee to fill his current seat.
Stephen Mulé
The Cuyahoga Falls City Council election will take place this November, and the May primary petitions have been filed, giving a clear picture of the field of candidates.

Current Councilman Russ Iona (R-8) will face current At-large Councilman Tim Gorbach (D) for the at-large seat currently held by Councilman Paul Colavecchio (D). If Gorbach wins, his current seat will be filled by the Democratic Central Committee, but he will retain the seat if Iona is victorious. Former community development director Susan Truby (R), who served under former mayor Don Robart, will face former Cleveland Brown Frank Stams (D) for Iona's Ward 8 seat, which he will relinquish in either outcome.

Mary Ellen Pyke, who has held the Ward 2 seat for nearly 21 years, will not seek reelection. Running for her seat, Susan Anne Spinner (D), the mother of last year’s 18-year-old Ohio House of Representatives candidate in the 36th District, will face attorney Michael B. Washington (R). In Ward 3, Vic Pallotta (R) will also not seek reelection, serving out his current term for a total of more than six years on council. Pallotta's 2017 challenger, Meika Penta (D), who lost that election with over 45% of the vote, will run again, this time versus former mayor Don Robart’s wife, Cecilia Robart (R).

In Ward 4, Council President Mary Nichols-Rhodes (D) will face a challenge from former Board of Education Member and President Kellie Patterson (R), while in Ward 5, the incumbent Mike Brillhart (D) will face his own challenger, Nate Leaver (R). Leaver is a 22-year-old representative of the Summit County Republican Central Committee and former campaign manager for Susan Hale's failed bid to replace Mayor Don Walters in 2017.

Ward 6 residents might feel like they are having déjà vu at their polling location, as incumbent Councilman Adam Miller (R) faces a challenge from real estate agent Gary Deremer (D), whom Miller defeated by just 57 votes in 2015 to take over the Ward 6 seat. Deremer mounted an unsuccessful campaign for an at-large seat in 2017.

In Ward 7, incumbent Councilman Jerry James (D), whose tenure on council is approaching 18 years, faces a challenge from Richmond Road resident Meri Stemple, while in Ward 1, Drew Reilly (D), having reached the end of his first term on the council, will face Mark Pallante (R), a Registered Nurse at Summa Western Reserve Hospital.


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