Akron Decides: Poll release kicks off mayoral election events

The Akron Press Club, Ideastream Public Media, Akron Beacon Journal and the Ohio Debate Commission are collaborating to engage voters in the 2023 Akron mayoral election through a scientific poll of voters and candidate debates.

 Media partners are the Akron Beacon Journal and Ideastream.

 A public release of the Akron poll will be February 27. Debates among the contested candidates in the May 2 primary will be held April 5 and 12.

 The poll asked Akron voters to voice their expectations of the next mayor of their city. It was conducted by the Center for Marketing Opinion and Research (CMOR) in January and February 2023. 

 The results of the poll will be released at an Akron Press Club luncheon Monday, February 27 at Quaker Station. There will be a panel discussion of the poll and the opportunity for questions from the audience.

 The panel will be moderated by M.L. Schultze, Akron Press Club board member and freelance journalist. Dr. John Green, director emeritus of the Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics who also assisted with the survey, will be a panelist. He will be joined on the panel by Akron NAACP President Judi Hill.

There will be a charge for the lunch, with proceeds funding scholarships for journalism and public relations students. Those who do not wish to eat lunch may attend at no charge.

      The poll was funded by the Akron Press Club, Greater Akron Chamber, Ohio Debate Commission, State and Federal Communications, United Way of Summit & Medina and the Bliss Institute.

The seven Democratic candidates for Akron mayor in the May primary have been invited to the April debates. Those who meet the debate criteria will be eligible to participate. One Republican candidate is unopposed for the office of Akron mayor in the primary, so there will be no debate for that race.

The first debate will be April 5, 2023. It will be an Akron Press Club luncheon at Quaker Station. Doors will open at 11 a.m. The debate will start at noon and last 90 minutes. There will be a charge for the lunch, with proceeds funding scholarships for journalism and public relations students. Those who do not wish to eat lunch may attend at no charge.

The second debate will be April 12, 2023.  It will be held at the Akron-Summit County Public Library on High Street. The debate will start at 7 p.m. and last 90 minutes. It will be free and open to the public.

The format for the debates and selection of moderators and panelists will be announced at a future date. There will be live audiences for both debates.

Registration details for both debates will be announced at a future date.

Akron Poll program

  • Date: Monday, February 27, 2023.
  • Time: Doors open at 11 a.m., buffet luncheon begins at 11:30 a.m. Program follows.     
  • Place: Quaker Station, 135 S. Broadway, Akron, Ohio.
  • Cost: $30 per individual. $240 for table of 8.
  • Fast and easy online registration here.
  • Or contact Leah Nemeth, Press Club administrator, at akronpressclub@gmail.com.
  • Check only accepted day of event.
  • Reservation deadline: Noon, Thursday, February 23, 2023.
  • Cancellations: Cancellation requests must be received no later than 48 hours before the event. After that time, there will be no refunds and an invoice will be issued for payment.
  • Registration required for those wish to attend but not pay for lunch. Email akronpressclub@gmail.com to reserve a seat.

About the Akron Press Club: 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.

About the Akron Beacon Journal: The Akron Beacon Journal is the major newsgathering force for the communities it serves through its website beaconjournal.com and daily newspaper. The newspaper traces its roots to the Summit Beacon in 1839. Under the ownership of John S. Knight the Beacon Journal was the original flagship newspaper of the Knight Newspaper Company, which later became Knight Ridder. The Beacon Journal has won four Pulitzer Prizes. Today the Beacon Journal is part of USA Today Network, which also includes the Columbus Dispatch, Cincinnati Enquirer and 18 other affiliated news organizations across Ohio. 

About Ideastream Public Media: Ideastream Public Media serves the people of Northeast Ohio as a trustworthy and dynamic multimedia source for illuminating the world around us. Ideastream Public Media is the home of five public television stations (WVIZ, WVIZ OHIO, WVIZ WORLD, WVIZ CREATE and WVIZ KIDS); WKSU, Northeast Ohio’s NPR news and public affairs radio station; and WCLV, Northeast Ohio’s classical music radio station. Ideastream programs and services are used by 3.6 million people in a typical month, across a 22-county service area. Ideastream produces the award-winning children’s series “NewsDepth” and manages The Ohio Channel and the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau on behalf of all Ohio’s public broadcasting stations. Ideastream Public Media is indispensable and highly valued for its unique ability to strengthen our community. For more information about Ideastream Public Media’s rich legacy of innovation and credible content, visit ideastream.org.

About the Ohio Debate Commission: The Ohio Debate Commission is a nonpartisan collaboration of civic organizations, media organizations and universities started in 2018. It seeks to create the highest quality content for the highest statewide offices and distribute that content to every corner of the state. Philanthropic support to the ODC for the Akron mayoral primary debate has been generously provided by the Akron Community Foundation, GAR Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The ODC is a 501(c)(3). Read more at ohiodebatecommission.org.