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Former Francis mayor withdraws from Summit County Council race

Former Francis Mayor Byron Ames announced he is running for Summit County Council. Ames is the first Republican to run for the county's highest elected offices since 2016.
Courtesy of Byron Ames
Former Francis Mayor Byron Ames was seeking to be the first Republican elected to the Summit County Council since 2014.

Former Francis Mayor Byron Ames has withdrawn his candidacy for Summit County Council, leaving one Republican still in the race.

It looks like the field of candidates running for Summit County elected office this November has been set.

Local Democrats winnowed their candidate list earlier this month, and Republicans were set to do so early next week. But on Thursday, former Francis Mayor Byron Ames announced he was no longer running for the Republican nomination for Summit County Council.

Ames said unexpected business growth at his law firm forced him to withdraw from the race, but he didn’t rule out a future bid for office.

He was vying with fellow Republican John “Jack” Murphy for the council seat currently held by Democrat Glenn Wright, who is not seeking another term. Wright is running instead for a seat in the U.S. Congress.

Local Republicans are scheduled to hold their nominating convention on Tuesday. The race between Murphy and Ames was the only contested race for local office that could have been decided there, but now Murphy will almost surely be nominated.

He will face Democrat Canice Harte and Libertarian Michael Franchek in the general election in November.

The other county council race features incumbent Democrat Chris Robinson and Republican Holly McClure.

All current county councilors are Democrats. The last Republican to be elected to the office was Dave Ure in 2014.

Alexander joined KPCW in 2021 after two years reporting on Summit County for The Park Record. While there, he won many awards for covering issues ranging from school curriculum to East Side legacy agriculture operations to land-use disputes. He arrived in Utah by way of Madison, Wisconsin, and western Massachusetts, with stints living in other areas across the country and world. When not attending a public meeting or trying to figure out what a PID is, Alexander enjoys skiing, reading and watching the Celtics.