Longtime Cuyahoga Falls City Council member will not seek reelection. Who's running for mayor, council

Jeff Iula will finish third four-year term at end of 2021

Phil Keren
Akron Beacon Journal
Cuyahoga Falls City Council member Jeff Iula, R-at large, said he will not seek reelection to a fourth term this fall.

A longtime member of Cuyahoga Falls City Council will not seek reelection this fall.

Republican Jeff Iula, an at-large councilman who will finish his third four-year term on council Dec. 31, did not file by the Feb. 3 deadline to run again in November.

Iula said he currently works in the registration department at the Summit County Board of Elections, and noted the board has a rule that an employee is not allowed to seek elected office.

If he had run again, Iula said, he would've had to step down from his board of elections job until after the Nov. 2 election results were certified. However, he said he is allowed to complete his current term on council.

Iula added he thought that "maybe it's time to have some younger blood in council."

He said he felt he got along with everyone on council, regardless of whether they were a Republican or a Democrat.

"We're a team [working] to make this city the best," said Iula, who served as president pro tem for two years. "That's what it should be."

He said his service on council was "a great ride," and noted he wished his father had been alive to see him elected to council.

"I think he would've been real happy because he always liked politics and he would've been quite surprised," Iula said.

Iula was first elected to the at-large council seat in 2009, and then reelected in 2013 and 2017. He also has served on the Schnee Learning Center Board of Education for seven years.

Iula served as general manager of the All-American Soap Box Derby for 35 years.

Ten of the 11 Cuyahoga Falls City Council seats are up for election in November. Iula is the only one of those 10 incumbents who did not file to appear on the fall ballot.

The at-large seat currently held by Democrat Tim Gorbach is the only Cuyahoga Falls City Council seat that is not up for election.

Mayoral, City Council petitions certified

The board of elections on Tuesday certified the petitions of all the Cuyahoga Falls mayoral and City Council hopefuls who filed as partisan candidates by the Feb. 3 deadline for the May 4 primary election.

The candidates are (an asterisk denotes an incumbent):

Mayor: Meri Stemple (R); Don Walters (D)*

At-Large (two seats available): Brian Ashton (D); Russ Balthis (D)*; Evan Perrow (R); Jason Rickenbacher (R).

Ward 1: Dave Davis (R); Rachel Loza (D)*

Ward 2: Eric Eisentraut (R); Susan Anne Spinner (D)*

Ward 3: Amy Archer Paglia (R); Meika Marie Penta (D)*

Ward 4: Bradford Chapman (R); Mary F. Nichols-Rhodes (D)*

Ward 5: Mike Brillhart (D)*; Lori A. Samerdak (R)

Ward 6: Gary DeRemer (D); Adam Miller (R)*

Ward 7: Jerry James (D)*; John Underwood (R)

Ward 8: Warren Capps (R); Frank Stams (D)*

There will not be any contested primaries for Cuyahoga Falls Mayor and City Council on May 4. With their petitions certified, all of the candidates will advance to the Nov. 2 general election ballot. Feb. 3 was also the deadline for independent and nonpartisan candidates to file to run for Cuyahoga Falls Mayor and City Council. No independent and nonpartisan hopefuls filed by the Feb. 3 deadline.

The mayoral and at-large council seats carry four-year terms, while all eight ward posts have two-year terms.

There will be a Republican primary for Stow Municipal Court Judge on May 4. The court's two current judges, Lisa Coates and Kim Hoover, have filed to run against one another in the GOP primary.

Reporter Phil Keren can be reached at pkeren@thebeaconjournal.com, or on Twitter at @keren_phil.