New faces are coming to Akron City Council in 2024
All 13 Akron City Council seats were up for election on Tuesday. The majority of incumbents will keep their seats, but some newcomers will join them as well.
The Democratic primary in May featured some notable upsets, including Ward 4 councilmember Russ Neal and at-large Councilmember Ginger Baylor who fell short of winning the Democratic nomination. Ward 4 consists of the West Akron and Wallhaven neighborhoods.
In Ward 9, which includes Kenmore, as of 10:16 p.m., Democrat Tina Boyes was leading Republican Micah Townsend, 67% to 33% with seven of 10 precincts reporting according to the Summit County Board of Elections. Boyes would succeed Councilmember Mike Freeman who has represented the ward for more than 16 years and did not seek reelection.
"I wouldn't feel comfortable declaring anything before all the results come in," Boyes said, "but we're feeling really good about tonight."
Townsend has not yet conceded, he said, but realizes Boyes will likely win.
"I'm definitely planning on running again," he said, adding that he wishes Boyes the best of luck when she "probably does win."
Democrats swept the at-large seats. Incumbents Jeff Fusco and Linda Omobien, who are leading each with about 29% of the vote respectively, will be joined by newcomer Eric Garrett, who has 27% of the vote. Garrett beat Baylor in the Democratic primary in May. Cynthia Blake, the lone Republican running for the at-large seats, currently has 15% of the vote.
Another newcomer to council will be Jan Davis, who beat Neal in the Democratic primary and ran unopposed in the general election. Johnnie Hannah ran unopposed for the Ward 5 seat, which is currently occupied by Councilmember Tara Mosley. She opted to run for mayor instead of her seat. Ward 5 is made up of multiple neighborhoods including East Akron, University Park, Middlebury, North Hill and Cascade Valley.
In Ward 8, which spans most of Northwest Akron and includes parts of Merriman Valley and Wallhaven, James Hardy ran unopposed for the seat currently occupied by Mayor-elect Shammas Malik.
Incumbents Ward 1 Councilmember Nancy Holland, Ward 2 Councilmember Phil Lombardo, Ward 6 Councilmember Brad McKitrick, Ward 7 Councilmember Donnie Kammer and Ward 10 Councilmember Sharon Connor ran unopposed.
Ward 1 includes parts of central to Northwest Akron, Ward 2 encompasses most of Akron’s Chapel Hill neighborhood and North Hill, Ward 6 includes the Ellet neighborhood, Ward 7 is home to the Raymond C. Firestone Golf Course on the city's South Side and Ward 10 encompasses the Goodyear Heights neighborhood and Middlebury.
Council will be tasked with forging a new relationship with Mayor-elect Shammas Malik and his administration when they're sworn in on Jan. 1. Malik won the Democratic primary, and no Republicans or Independents were listed on the ballot Tuesday to oppose him in the general election.