The Sykes family long has represented a district at the center of Akron in the Ohio House. Vernon Sykes faces term limits after another productive run in the legislature. His daughter is seeking to fill the seat, and the temptation is to conclude: This is too much of a family thing. Then, consider how Emilia Sykes has set out to prepare for the work at the Statehouse, and the choice begins to make sense. She is the much stronger candidate in the Democratic primary in the 34th District.
We recommend the election of Emilia Sykes on May 6.
Sykes works in the Summit County Fiscal Office as an administrative staff adviser. Among other things, she has been involved with the county land bank and tracking legislation at various government levels that affects the office. She has a law degree and a master’s degree in public health. She has worked with community legal aid. She already has a solid framework for dealing with health policy.
That’s not to say she won’t encounter a sharp learning curve. At the same time, she has a good grasp of what matters to the district, placing priority on early education and expanded access to health care. More, she has taken keen lessons from her parents, showing both passion and an awareness of what is required to get things done, the compromises, collaboration and eye on the long run.
Her opponent is Frank Comunale, making another bid for the Statehouse from his position on the Summit County Council. He lost a race for the Ohio Senate to Frank LaRose.
Comunale long has given generously of his time to community causes, serving on boards and otherwise aiding nonprofit organizations. He brings business experience. Yet listen to the two candidates discuss their interests and agendas for the Statehouse, and he isn’t nearly as focused, clear and informed. It is telling that six of his Democratic colleagues on the County Council have endorsed the promising candidacy of Emilia Sykes.