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April 8, 2011

Sandra Kurt moves to Summit County Council

Akron--In less than two years, Sandra Kurt went from being the president of the Summit County Stonewall Democrats, to Akron’s first out council member, to the Summit County Council with her March 3 appointment.

The seat became vacant when former County Councilor Jon Poda left for a position as deputy director of the Summit County Fiscal Office.

Poda won the at-large seat last November, but Kurt will have to run in 2012 to serve the last two years of the term. There are two other countywide seats on the 11-member council.

The appointment was made by about 200 Democratic precinct committee members at North High School. Five people were nominated to fill the at-large county council seat, but it came down to Kurt and Pete Crossland, a former at-large county councilor who lost his seat last fall.

It took three votes for either candidate to get a full 51 percent of the vote; the final tally was 109-84 for Kurt.

She resigned her Ward 8 seat on city council immediately and was sworn in by Municipal Judge Kathryn Michael.

Kurt is an industrial engineer with Goodyear, which she credited with giving her analytical skills that she can now bring to the county council.

“Summit County at-large will allow me to serve a broader part of the community and also allow me, I think, to focus on bigger initiatives and policies,” she told the Akron Beacon Journal.

Ohio has two other openly gay county-level elected officials, Wood County commissioner Tim Brown and Montgomery County common pleas judge Mary Wiseman, along with seven at the local level and one state representative, District 13’s Nickie Antonio.

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