Registration for Akron mayoral debates opens

Reservations now are being taken for two debates among the Democratic candidates for Akron mayor.

The seven Democratic candidates for Akron mayor in the May primary have been invited to the debates. Those who meet the debate criteria will be eligible to participate.

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 through the debates.

The first debate is Wednesday, 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 $35 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.

Reservations are required for the lunch and for those who wish to attend but not have lunch. Reservations are taken on a first-come, first-served basis.

Michael Shearer, Akron Beacon Journal/ editor and regional editor northern Ohio – USA TODAY Network, will moderate this debate. A panel of journalists will ask questions of the candidates. The panel consists of Anna Huntsman, Ideastream Public Media reporter/producer; Cheryl Powell, Akron Beacon Journal/ managing editor; and Mark Turner, Ohio University assistant professor of journalism.

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 is free and open to the public.

Those who wish to attend this debate may request tickets by completing this online form. Filling out the form and receiving confirmation of its receipt does not guarantee a ticket. If the request is accepted, the ticket will be sent in a separate email. Each request is good for one ticket for one person.

Candidates will answer questions from the public submitted in advance at this debate. The debate will be moderated by Rick Jackson, Ideastream senior host/producer, and Andrew Meyer, Ideastream Public Media deputy editor/news.

Those who wish to submit a question for the April 12 debate should visit this link to do so in writing or with a video.

Here are the reservation details:

April 5 debate:

  • Date: Wednesday, April 5, 2023.
  • Time: Doors open at 11 a.m., buffet luncheon begins at 11:30 a.m. Program follows.     
  • Place: Quaker Station, 135 South Broadway, Akron, Ohio.
  • Cost: $35 per individual. $280 for table of 8.
  • Fast and easy online registration here.
  • Or contact Leah Nemeth, Press Club administrator, at
  • Check only accepted day of event.
  • Reservation deadline: Noon, Friday, March 31, 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 who wish to attend but not pay for lunch. Email to reserve a seat.

April 12 debate:

  • Date: Wednesday, April 12, 2023.
  • Time: Doors open at 6 p.m. Program begins at 7 p.m.     
  • Place: Akron-Summit County Public Library, 60 South High Street, Akron.
  • Free and open to the public.
  • Online ticket request required. Click here.
  • Submit questions for the candidates here.
  • Ticket request deadline: Noon, Friday, April 7, 2023.
  • Question submission deadline: Noon, Friday, March 24, 2023.