Ferrara Wins, Narrowly Retains Ward 1 Kent Council Seat
Republican incumbent beats Democratic challenger
Garret Ferrara narrowly retained his seat on Kent City Council in a close race with challenger Melissa Long that was decided by a mere 10 votes Tuesday.
The Republican incumbent won re-election to his Ward 1 council seat Tuesday by a vote of 754 to 744, according to complete but unofficial results from the Portage County Board of Elections. Ferrara defeated his Democratic challenger Long, who also is a member of the Kent Planning Commission.
Ferrara, who hosted his election night watch party at Riverside Wine & Bar, said he was surprised the race was so close.
"I’m surprised it was close to be quite honest, but she ran a good campaign," Ferrara said. "We’ll evaluate what happened and why it was so close."
The campaign was Long's first run at public office in Kent, but she previously served both as mayor and a council member in Cortland, OH.
Ferrara said Tuesday's vote total of more than 1,400 cast in his ward compares to about 500 in the last ward election, and he attributed the increase — and closeness of the race — partially to the library levy and Issue 2, both of which drew voters to the polls.
He expects his next four-year term will be spent wrapping up the city's ongoing redevelopment projects.
"I think I won because I’ve got a good record on council," Ferrara said. "The next four years, it continues to be more of the same. Economic development is going to drive everything else. It’s going to drive streets, sidewalks."
Ferrara lives near Davey Elementary School with his wife, Michele, and two daughters. He was first elected to council in 2000 and is a life-long resident of Kent and is an alumnus of Kent State University. Both Ferrara and his wife work as certified financial advisors at UBS Financial Services in Hudson.
"There's so much good stuff going on right now, Kent’s a great place to be," Ferrara said.