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April 6. 2012

Coleman not picked for Medina council; but he may run

Medina--The City Council passed over an LGBT activist and former Equality Ohio staffer for appointment to a vacant seat, but he is keeping the door open to run for the seat in 2013.

Had he been appointed, Dan Coleman, 27, would have been the city’s first openly gay official. Coleman sought the appointment to fill the unexpired Ward 1 seat vacated when Andrea Burdell-Ware moved out of the city and resigned.

Council chose local restaurateur Brian Hilberg, 43, on March 26. Also in the running was former Ward 1 councilor John Wetzel, 83.

Medina is often viewed as a distant suburb of Akron, about 20 miles to the east, and of Cleveland, the same distance north.

Coleman and his partner Jay Smith are politically active in Medina. Smith ran for an at-large council seat in 2009, with his campaign managed by Coleman. He was defeated, then was appointed to the city’s Utility Rate and Review Commission and the Uptown Park Advisory Committee. He is currently employed by the Obama re-election campaign.

Coleman works for the Ohio State Highway Patrol as a drivers’ examiner.

“I was really disappointed with council’s decision,” Coleman said. “Based on the live interview, it appears that they picked their choice ahead of time. I could have brought so much to the leadership of our city.”

Coleman said in the meantime he will seek appointment to the Board of Zoning Appeals or the Cemetery Commission.

Related stories

Former Equality Ohio staffer seeks Medina council post  March 23, 2012

Medina GSA founder seeks seat on city council  September 11, 2009

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