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The Carroll News

The news that keeps us Onward On!
Since 1925
The news that keeps us Onward On!

The Carroll News

The news that keeps us Onward On!

The Carroll News

Streaks running for seats: Dan Bender

Dan Bender for City Council
Dan Bender was born and raised in Ohio and graduated from JCU in 2003.

Multiple local municipalities and the Ohio State Congress have open seats with Election Day rapidly approaching. John Carroll University’s alumni are well-known for being civically engaged and involved in their communities. Dan Bender ‘03 is taking his involvement a step further by running for political office.

Born and raised in Brecksville, OH, Bender attended Brecksville-Broadview Heights School District before graduating from JCU. Bender is the youngest of four, and two of his siblings also graduated from JCU. Bender’s siblings both commuted from Brecksville to JCU whereas Bender wanted the traditional on-campus experience.

“I was very intent that I wanted to go away to college,” Bender elaborated, “I lived on campus, actually, all four years.”

At JCU, Bender majored in finance and recalls spending time in the Boler College of Business (formerly known as the Boler School of Business). After graduating from JCU, Bender was employed full-time at FirstMerit Bank and attended graduate school at Cleveland State University.

“After working for a little bit, [I] went on to pursue a Master’s of Business Administration. But I did my MBA nights and weekends while working and I did that through Cleveland State.”

Bender, a husband and father of four, said “I jokingly say that I’ve lived my entire life in Cuyahoga County, even when I went away to college and university.”

During his time at JCU, Bender was involved with organizations such as the Knights of Columbus and the Finance Association. In addition to Bender’s work-study, he worked at the JCU library and played on the intramural football team. Recently, Bender was the president of the Cleveland Alumni Chapter at JCU.

Bender’s inspiration for running for city council, he says, was due to “a religious calling to give back to a community that gives me a lot.”

“I have friends and family that work for the city of Brecksville. I’ve worked in Brecksville. My office is also in Brecksville. So I am very connected with the business community there,” said Bender.

In Brecksville, there are four open seats on the city council and, with seven candidates already campaigning, the stage is set for a competitive election. Out of the seven candidates running, two are incumbents; four are political newcomers–including Bender. One is a former school board member and one is a past candidate. Election Day is set for Nov. 7 and early voting starts on Oct. 11. Notably, current council President Laura Redinger and Daryl Kingston are not running for reelection.

For the four candidates elected to office, Brecksville approaches its term limits in a unique manner. The top three vote-getters will win a four-year term, while the fourth-place finisher will serve a two-year term.

The race is by no means going to be easy. Bender is taking on two incumbents: a school board member and a candidate who lost in a previous election. These candidates have applicable experience and name recognition.

Bender, Eric Geyer, Steve Schadler and Stephanie Simon Bartos have no prior political experience but are hoping to edge out a victory against a tough candidate pool. Bender has not served in any elected positions or in prior political office before but he did serve on the Brecksville Charter Review Commission in 2022-2023.

A registered Republican with nearly two decades of experience in the commercial banking industry, Bender intends to take those skills and values to improve the city’s finances. He is confident that he can take his knowledge of the interplay between revenue, expenses, liquidity, leverage, interest rate sensitivity, capital expenditures and other experiences to improve the city.

Moreover, he is campaigning to bring sensible economic development to Brecksville. To Bender, this means bringing more economic opportunities to the city while maintaining its charm and history.

Bender is passionate about fostering a larger partnership between the Brecksville-Broadview Heights school district and the city. He also hopes to grow Brecksville’s workforce and create more avenues for support of the City’s first responders–like increasing mental health resources.

To learn more about all seven candidates click here.

Visit Bender’s campaign website:

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