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Ferrara Wins, Narrowly Retains Ward 1 Kent Council Seat

Republican incumbent beats Democratic challenger

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 , who also is a member of the Kent Planning Commission.

Ferrara, who hosted his election night watch party at , 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 , 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."

But he pointed to other challenges the city will face in the next four years, including possible replacement of the aging and a potential .

Ferrara lives near 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 . 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.

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