Two Democrats and a Republican squared off in the second 2015 mayoral debate down in Akron Monday night. The city is gearing up for the first mayoral election since the birth of Christ that won’t feature incumbent Don Plusquellic.
Plusquellic, as you’ll no doubt recall, stormed out of office earlier this year, fed up with city council and appalled at his supposedly unfair treatment in the Akron Beacon-Journal.
Plusquellic’s replacement, the handsy Gary Moneypenny, lasted little more than a week before he resigned in disgrace. A sexual harassment issue threatened to further derail Akronites’ trust in local government. Moneypenny’s replacement, Jeff Fusco, has said he will not run in November.
So that leaves our three hopefuls: Democrats Mike Williams and Dan Horrigan and Republican Eddie Sipplen, a local defense attorney. All three answered questions from pastors, community leaders and residents at the Akron Urban League Monday.
The debate was “feisty,” according to the Beacon-Journal, and featured, among other hot topics, discussion on how to handle Akron’s billion-dollar sewer project, and ways to ensure that locals get a percentage of the construction jobs.
Perhaps in light of Plusquellic's high-profile departure, candidates made a point to agree that creating a culture of civility between the Mayor and Council (where candidate Mike Williams has served for many years) would probably be a profitable idea for Akron’s well-being.
“Unless we start the practice,” said Horrigan, the Summit County Clerk of Courts, “we will never get there.”
Williams and Horrigan will go toe to toe in a Democratic primary on Sep. 8 and face Republican Eddie Sipplen in the Nov. 3 general election.