Akron Press Club presents Summit County sheriff debate

Who wants to be the new sheriff in Summit County? Find out when the Akron Press Club presents a debate between the four Democratic candidates in the March 17 primary.

The debate is free and open to the public.

It will be held March 10 from 7 – 8:15 p.m. (doors open at 6:30 p.m.) at the Akron-Summit County Public Library, 60 South High Street, Akron. Seating will be on a first-come basis. This debate is co-sponsored by the University of Akron Ray C. Bliss Institute for Applied Politics and the League of Women Voters of the Akron Area.

A panel of journalists selected by the Press Club will question the candidates on a variety of topics.

The four Democratic candidates are all current or retired sheriff’s deputies:

  • Kandy Fatheree, a captain who started her career with community policing and criminal investigations in Lakemore.
  • Patrick Hunt, a sergeant who retired in 2018 as a supervisor in the narcotics division after assignments in corrections, patrol and the detective bureau.
  • John Peake, a Navy veteran who retired shortly after becoming a captain following three decades in corrections, the patrol division, the honor guard unit and detective bureau.
  • Dale Soltis, who ran day-to-day operations at the Summit County Jail before retiring in 2017 to become the Stark County jail commander.

The winner will face Republican Shane Barker in the fall election. Barker was a captain who worked in corrections, patrol and other divisions before retiring in 2018 as field supervisor for the Summit County Drug Unit.

Current Sheriff Steve Barry is retiring at the end of this year.

The Akron Press Club was founded in 1971 to promote a free press and serve local journalists and public relations professionals. The group has a rich heritage of offering newsmakers a forum to discuss issues of the day at Press Club luncheons and speaking events that are open to the public. The club also funds scholarships for journalists and public relations students. Visit www.akronpressclub.org for membership information.