Some Akron City Council Members Are Not On Board with Possible Primary Move

Jul 10, 2018

The idea of moving Summit County’s primary election from September to earlier in the year is running into some opposition in Akron City Council. 

Akron City Council member Bruce Kilby
Credit Akron City Council

A week ago, the mayors of Akron and four nearby cities along with the county executive called for holding the local primary the same day as the state primary in May.

But Akron City Council member Bruce Kilby says that would hurt political newcomers and candidates without their party's backing.

He says they need those extra months to off-set the campaign financing advantages of establishment candidates.  “Let the challengers challenge," said Kilby.  "And if they can make the case, then that’s what democracy is all about.  I think the real motivations behind this, and I think this administration is pushing it, is they want to make it easier for themselves to get reelected.”

Councilmen Russ Neal has also expressed concern about shifting Summit County's primary to earlier in the year.

Moving the primary requires amending the County Charter.  The county council as well as each of the city councils must approve putting the amendment before voters as a ballot issue. Akron City Council is expected take up the proposal next week.