Shaffer to take over for Bargerstock

Elise Franco

Heidi Shaffer spent the afternoon making personal calls to friends, neighbors and residents of Ward 5, asking them to get out to the polls and vote.

And it paid off.

Shaffer, 45, walked away with the victory over 28-year-old Michael Pfahl, 62.63 percent to 37.37 percent.

She and close friends and family gathered at her home to await the election results of Kent City Council.

“I’m here with a huge crowd of my supporters,” Shaffer said. “And they’re excited. This is a good day for Kent.”

As a first-time candidate, Shaffer said she felt good about her campaign and what she will bring to the city.

“I feel like I’ve had a lot of support across the whole city,” she said. “My campaign has been run by a fairly large group of people, even some fairly young people.”

Shaffer said she became active in the community several years ago, and decided to run for City Council because she felt someone other than Ed Bargerstock, current Ward 5 councilman, should represent the neighborhood.

“From the get-go I have been motivated by a vision of what’s possible for Kent,” she said. “It needs to become a vibrant college town that embraces and welcomes students.”

Much of Shaffer’s focus is on economic development, especially incorporating downtown with the university.

“The city needs to work together with Kent State to become the town we know we can be,” she said.

Pfahl said although he lost, he plans to stay an active member in the community and will run for Council-at-Large in two years.

“I went to Kent State for four years. I’ve lived in Kent for seven and a half years now, and I haven’t seen the city get any better,” he said. “The city just hasn’t come together with university, and people are worried.”

Pfahl said residents want to know their city will support them and grow with them and that’s what he plans to bring to the table in the next election.

“I just appreciate the people who came out to support me,” he said.

For Shaffer, the win was more than exciting.

“It feels great. I really put a lot of effort out, and I feel like I was really well received and supported,” she said. “I think this is a new day dawning for Kent.”

Contact public affairs reporter Elise Franco at [email protected].