Summit County Council’s general race has six candidates


Six people are vying for three seats overall on Summit County Councilthe county’s 11-member legislature.

General members represent the county “as a whole”, instead of an individual district, and represent all cities, townships, villages, and municipalities within the county. This means that all voters in the county will vote for county council seats.

2022 Voter’s Guide:Who to vote for? See candidate information in their own words

The three nominees selected as members of the council at large will serve four-year terms beginning Jan. 1.

The six nominees include the three current members of the General Council, a current member of the District County Council, a former candidate for county sheriff and a former member of Fairlawn City Council.

To hear the candidates’ responses in their own words on local issues, including housing, healthcare and infrastructure, visit

Currently, the county board is made up of eight Democrats (District 1 Rep. Rita Darrow; District 2, John Schmidt; District 4, Jeff Wilhite; District 5, Veronica Sims; District 6, Christine Wiedie Higham; and members-at-large Elizabeth Walters, Erin Dickinson, and John Donofrio) and three Republicans (District 3 Representative Gloria Rodgers; District 7 Representative Bethany McKenney; and District 8 Representative Anthony DeVitis).

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Shane Barker

Republican Shane Barker of Macedonia was the Republican nominee for Summit County Sheriff in 2020, losing to Democrat Kandy Fatheree. He spent 25 years in the sheriff’s office and served as an administrative captain at the jail before retiring in 2019. Barker previously served on the Summit County Jail Operation Advisory Board and as a member of the Macedonia City Council, a nonpartisan position that allowed him to continue working in the sheriff’s office.

Anthony DeVitis

Anthony DeVitis

Republican Anthony DeVitis of Green represented Ohio’s 36th District for nearly a decade and was limited in time to run for the Statehouse seat again. DeVitis previously represented Ward 3 on the Green City Council before being appointed to Ohio House in 2011 and then elected to four terms. He has represented District 8, which includes the southern portion of the county, on Summit County Council since January 2021 after being elected in November 2020.

DeVitis grew up in Akron’s North Hill and attended Akron Public Schools and the University of Akron. He is co-owner and president of DeVitis Italian Market, his family’s Italian specialty food store, where he had worked since he was 16, according to his Biography of the county council.

DeVitis and his wife, Kathleen, have been married for over 30 years and have two children, Evelyn and Clark.

Erin Dickinson

Erin Dickinson

Democrat Erin Dickinson of Hudson was nominated in June 2022 to a county council seat, filling the post vacated by her father, Clair Dickinson, who retired in May. Clair Dickinson served on the board three times: 1989-1993, 2003-2007 and 2016-2022.

Dickinson, who chairs the council’s rules committee, has spent her career as a commercial litigation lawyer. A mother of four young boys, she is a board member for Community Legal Aid, a board member for the Hudson Heritage Association and a former local Akron leader for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, according to she. Biography of the county council.

Dickinson earned a bachelor’s degree in English and history from Vanderbilt University and a law degree from the University of Michigan Law School. She grew up in Stow.

John Donofrio

John Donofrio

Democrat John Donofrio of Akron has been a member of the general council since 2015 and chairs the finance committee. He was appointed to the Summit County Treasurer’s Office in 1979 and won election to his first term in 1980. Following a charter amendment passed by voters in 2001, the County Auditor’s Office merged with County Treasurer’s Office into a new office. The treasurer’s office was renamed the tax office, and Donofrio became the county’s first tax officer in 2002. He continued to be reelected until his retirement in 2011.

Past president of the County Treasurers Association of Ohio and former state director of the National Association of Treasurers and Finance Officers, Donofrio served 3½ years in the United States Air Force and was honorably discharged. He and his wife, Marijean, have five children and eight grandchildren, according to his Biography of the county council.

Elizabeth Walters

Elizabeth Walters

Democrat Elizabeth Walters of Akron was nominated for a universal seat in February 2016 and elected in November. She has been Chair of the Board since 2021 and Vice-Chair of the Board in 2019 and 2020. She chairs the Planning and Economic Development Committee of the Board. She was chosen as chair of the Ohio Democratic Party in January 2021.

Walters lived in Summit County for most of his life. She has worked for local nonprofits, led Democratic campaigns and organizations, and served as senior aide to Congresswoman Betty Sutton in Ohio’s 13th congressional district, she said. Biography of the county council.

A lifelong Girl Scout and graduate of Cuyahoga Falls High School, Walters has a bachelor’s degree in history from St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, and a master’s degree in public administration from Cleveland State University.

Maria Williams

Republican Maria Williams of Fairlawn was elected to the Fairlawn City Council in 2017. She ran for re-election in 2021 but lost by 49 votes to Joseph Gentile Jr. for the Ward 1 seat. According to a published profile in the West Side Leader after her election, she served as an usher in the Summit County Court of Common Pleas from 2012 to 2016 and the Akron Municipal Court from 2009 to 2011.

Candidates for Summit County Council:Akron Beacon Journal Voter’s Guide

Summit District 6 County Council

The unexpired term for the District 6 seat, which ends Dec. 31, 2024, is also on the Summit County Council ballot.

Republican Nick DeVitis of Tallmadge will face Democrat Christine Wiedie Higham of Tallmadge, who was nominated in June to represent County Council District 6, which is made up of Tallmadge and part of Akron. She filled the position vacated by Jerry Feeman, who died in May and has served on the board since 2008.

Christine Wiedie Higham

Higham, who chairs the council’s personnel and cross-government committee, has served as human resources and administration manager for Mustard Seed Market & Cafe since 2015. She was previously deputy county human resources manager under former county manager, Russ Pry.

According to her Biography of the county councilWiede Higham previously worked for the Ohio House of Representatives and then spent 10 years in Summit County Social Services.

A graduate of Tallmadge High School, Higham holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Kent State University and a master’s degree in business administration from Tiffin University. She and her husband have two children.

According to a post on his campaign facebook page, DeVitis lives in Tallmadge with his wife of 13 years, JoEllen, and their three sons and daughter. A graduate of Archbishop Hoban High School and the University of Akron with a Bachelor of Commerce degree, DeVitis has worked in his family’s Italian market for over 20 years and is currently part owner. His family attends St. Matthew’s Catholic Church in Akron.

He said his goals if elected would be “to make fiscally sound budget decisions and ensure the hard working people of District 6 are well represented. I am proud of my dedication, diligence and of my in-depth decision-making skills.”

Summit County Early Voting:Early voting in Ohio begins Wednesday. Here’s what you need to know before you go to the polls

Contact Beacon Journal reporter Emily Mills at [email protected] and on Twitter @EmilyMills818.


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