by Mark R. Potter

Regional Editor

Akron -- Tim Gorbach may soon be one of Summit County's biggest players at the Board of Elections.

The Cuyahoga Falls Council At-Large member was appointed unanimously July 26 by 153 Democratic precinct committee members to fill the remainder of County Executive Russ Pry's term on the board.

"I wish all my races were that easy," Gorbach said jokingly as no other members sought the position. "But truly, I'm humbled and excited."

Gorbach, who also serves as treasurer of the party, told the crowd gathered in Akron North High School auditorium that he would work hard to live up to their support.

"I want to thank you for your continued support," Gorbach said. "I won't let you down."

Pry stepped down from the four-member board July 12 when he was appointed county executive. His four-year term on the board is scheduled to expire in February 2008.

"He'll do a great job down there," said Pry. "He is bright and hard-working and that's what we need to have at the Board of Elections."

According to Board of Elections Director Bryan Williams, the board members meet on an average of three times a month and have "total governing authority" over the agency's employees and budget. He said the county's board members are paid $17,800 per year.

Williams said Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner still has to confirm Gorbach's appointment.

"Once [Brunner confirms Gorbach] he'll be immediately seated," Williams said, adding the secretary of state has to have "just cause" to deny an appointment.

Gorbach said, per the Ohio Revised Code, that he can retain his seat on Cuyahoga Falls City Council until it expires at the end of 2009, but is prohibited from seeking re-election if still on the board.

Co-owner of A and C Welding Inc. in Peninsula, Gorbach said he feels both his political and business experience will help him perform well in his new role.

"I manage 28 employees and a $4 million budget. I've also managed my own campaigns for more than six years," Gorbach said. "I've always been interested in the Board of Elections and thought I could positively contribute to it."

Gorbach said the board, which has two Democratic and two Republican members, often deals with issues that are fought along party lines and said he is confident his experience is an advantage.

The other board members are Democrat Wayne Jones and Republicans Alex R. Arshinkoff and Jack Morrison Jr.

"Make no mistake about it, the board is a partisan board," Gorbach said. "You have to have the political wherewithal to deal with it."

E-mail: mpotter@recordpub.com

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