New 28th District state Senator named

Erica Crist

The Ohio State Democratic Caucus announced last night that Tom Sawyer of Akron will replace former state Sen. Kimberly Zurz, who resigned to head the Ohio Department of Commerce.

Democrats in the Ohio Senate interviewed state Rep. Kathleen Chandler, Summit County Councilwoman Paula Prentice, and Sawyer, a state board of education member, former state and federal lawmaker and former Akron mayor, for the vacancy last week.

Robert Dempsey, political director of the Ohio State Democratic Caucus, said the primary issue during the interview process was how well each candidate addressed the issues in the 28th District, which includes all of Portage County, part of Akron and part of Green.

“Economic development and health care are the two biggest issues in that district,” he said. “An elected official looking to be senator would have to speak well to those issues and have a good grasp of what it takes to move those issues forward.”

Contact public affairs reporter Erica Crist at [email protected].