Following the sudden and unexpected passing of County Executive Russ Pry, the Summit County Democratic Party on Aug. 3 announced the process for which this and another potential vacancy will be filled.
First, a replacement for Mr. Pry as the Party's candidate for County Executive on the November ballot will be nominated by the Summit County Democratic Party Central Committee at a meeting on Aug. 11 at 7 p.m. at North High School in Akron, according to a news release from the Democratic Party. In the same meeting, the Central Committee will appoint someone to fill the vacancy in the office of County Executive until the end of the current term.
In accordance with the Summit County Charter, County Council President Ilene Shapiro will serve as County Executive on an interim basis.
If the appointment of someone on Aug. 11 should create a vacancy in a Summit County Council At Large seat, another Central Committee Meeting will take place Aug. 17 at 7 p.m. at North High School in Akron. The purpose of this meeting will be to nominate someone as the Party's candidate for that County Council At Large seat in the November general election and to appoint someone to that seat until a replacement is elected on Nov. 8.
By law, a majority of the members of the Central Committee must be present in order for someone to be nominated as the Democratic Party's candidate in the general election. Currently, there are 287 Central Committee members; 144 constitutes a majority of 287. Also by law, a majority of the Central Committee members present must vote in favor of a particular candidate in order for a nomination to be made.
Under the Constitution and Bylaws of the Summit County Democratic Party, 50 Central Committee members must be present at a meeting in order to appoint someone to fill a vacancy in a countywide office. To be appointed, a candidate must receive a simple majority (i.e., more than half) of the votes cast.
If there are multiple candidates in a Central Committee election and no candidate receives the requisite majority in the initial balloting, runoff elections will be conducted.
"This process will be strictly adhered to in order to ensure an orderly and proper transition of leadership for the residents of Summit County," the news release stated.
A memorial service is scheduled for Aug. 13 at 10 a.m. in the John S. Knight Center in downtown Akron.