Kudley to run for Aurora mayor

By Mike Lesko | Aurora Advocate Published:

John J. Kudley Jr., who has been an Aurora City Councilman since 1998, has filed petitions with the Portage County Board of Elections to run for mayor in the November general election.

He was the first person to file for the mayoral seat held by James Fisher, who recently announced he will not run for any office in November. Fisher took over the mayoral position from Lynn McGill, who stepped down last fall because of health reasons.

The filing deadline is Aug. 22 for the Nov. 5 non-partisan election.

"My professional and civic life has been dedicated to serving the youth and citizens of Aurora," Kudley said. "I truly believe that my purpose in life is to be actively involved in the life of my community.

"I believe that I have a unique background in having a sense of Aurora's rich history and the understanding of the need to balance that history with the continued growth of the community in the 21st century."

Kudley unsuccessfully ran for the city's top job in the last two mayoral elections, losing both times to McGill, who is seeking a Council at-large seat that is currently held by Joe Kastelic.

If elected mayor, Kudley said he plans to continue to provide a high level of service to citizens without requesting additional taxes; expand the commercial and industrial tax base by attracting new businesses while working to retain those that have already made Aurora their base of operation.

He also vows to maintain the city's financial stability in the face of diminishing state funds and sources of revenue, work to connect the city's neighborhoods with city owned park properties by a series of bike paths, seek sources of revenues to implement the city's connectivity plan, and implement park studies to open acres of green space for use by the public for both active and passive recreation.

Kudley, who turned 67 on July 18, was first elected to Council as a Ward 3 representative, serving from 1998-2006. He has been a Councilman at-large since 2007, and served as president of Council from 2000-2006.

He became chairman of Council's committee of the whole last year, and has been the Chamber of Commerce liaison since 2008. He has also served on the parks and recreation board, Library Trust and Council's finance and service committees.

Kudley has been married to the former Barbara Hettinger for 35 years. They have four children -- J.J. (wife Sarah), Molly Schneider (husband Matt, son Benjamin), Jeff and Steve.

He graduated from Orange High School and Muskingum College and earned two masters degrees from Kent State.

His resume in community service includes being the current president of Aurora Historical Society, archivist and deacon for the Church in Aurora, a volunteer in the adult church work camp, co-director of the Navajo Mission work camp and a former firefighter/paramedic with the local fire department.

He has written two publications -- "More Than a Landmark -- A History of the Church in Aurora, 1809-2009" and "Aurora Township, Portage County, Ohio, the 20th Century." He is currently researching and writing "After the Flood -- A History of Aurora, 1900-Present."

Email: mlesko@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4187

Facebook: facebook.com/mike.lesko.378

Twitter: Mike Lesko@MikeLesko_RPC

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