Commissioner looks to revitalize downtown areas

Sara Macho

Current County Commissioner Chuck Keiper, 45, of Franklin Township, won his primary democratic election last night against William McDowell, 60, of Freedom Township by about 57 percent of the votes. About 13,000 residents voted.

In the next 60 days, he will begin preparing for the November general election by forming a committee to help strategize his fall campaign.

Keiper, who has served on the board for 13 years, brings much experience to his position.

He has a master’s degree in finance from Kent State University and is a certified economic finance professional.

Throughout his tenure, which began in 1993, he has worked to revitalize the downtown area and implement numerous business, park and litter control programs.

In the months leading up to the November election, Keiper wants to continue making economic development a top priority by bringing more jobs to Portage County.

McDowell, who has been a resident of Portage County for 53 years, is currently a township trustee serving his third term.

McDowell said he is disappointed in the turnout of last night’s primary.

“I’m sorry people didn’t look at the issues and voted for a name instead,” he said.

McDowell ran previously in 2002 as an independent. He feels that may have influenced the results of yesterday’s primary.

McDowell, who does not yet know if he will run again, said the county is in trouble by having Keiper as a commissioner.

“Mr. Keiper is never there for the people,” McDowell said. “He does not put enough time into his job.”

Looking forward to the fall campaign trail, Keiper said he is expecting a full, complete and well-financed campaign in November.

He said that in the past he has delivered on all his promises and will continue to do so in preparation for the fall election.

Contact public affairs Sara Macho at [email protected].