Class of 2020 Endorsed Candidate: Kristen Scalise

Kristen M. Scalise  has served as our Summit County Fiscal Officer for over 9 years, maintaining her commitment to excellence and accuracy. She also oversees a budget of over $18,600,000 and manages approximately 150 employees in the divisions of Auditor, Recorder, and Treasurer.

Her skills as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) make her an extremely qualified leader who continues to bring recognition to the Fiscal Office.

Kristen has spent the past 20 years in public service, and has made it her mission to make positive changes in neighborhoods, stabilize property values, protect consumers, and safeguard more than $1 billion in Summit County revenue annually. If elected, Kristin will continue to advocate and support female candidates, initiate programs and form valuable relationships in the community to promote safe neighborhoods and help families stay in their homes, and protect consumers and tenants. Kristen has dedicated her career to serve this county; her experience and passion will continue to improve the Summit County community.

In 2021, Kristin Scalise will continue to serve as Summit County Fiscal Officer.


Meet the Candidate

1) In your interview with the Endorsement Committee, you shared a personal life experience that led you to the decision to run for office. Can you tell our members a little bit about your journey to filing as a candidate?

Running for office was not something I ever thought I would do.  I was an accountant for 22 years when my predecessor decided to retire.  Several years before this, a ballot issue was put forth in an attempt to require the Fiscal Officer to be a CPA.  This issue did not pass, however, my predecessor approached, since I am a CPA, and asked me to run.  He thought it would take away the CPA issue from being raised by the other political party.  I had worked for 11 years in the office, my many coworkers at the time were my friends.  I wanted them to be safe and keep their jobs.  I felt the only way to ensure that happened was to run and win and keep the office.

2) Many of you cited a family member whose strength was an inspiration to you. Tell our members about a friend or family member who inspired you to become a leader.

My mother, Faith Lesnansky, has always been my biggest inspiration.  She was a working mother of three when most women stayed home.  I watched her run an office, from the secretaries chair when all of management was men.  She taught me strategy, strength, and most importantly how to lead.  She taught me to stand up for myself and to fight for what I wanted, in many different ways.

3) Some of you are teachers, some businesspeople, some professionals, some homemakers. How has your career and life experiences shaped who you are as a person and a leader?

As a mother and working professional, balancing work and family has always been important to me, and I practice that now as the officeholder.  I have a family-first attitude that I apply not only to myself but my employees as well.  I’ve always worked diligently to accommodate the needs of my employees while maintaining the work process and service, which is now even more necessary with COVID-19.

4) The Matriots PAC has a goal to see 50% of all elected offices in Ohio held by women by 2028. What is your vision for Ohio in 2028?

My vision for 2028 is to not only see more female elected officials in the State of Ohio but to also see a more diverse group of elected officials that reflect the community that they represent.  Representation plays an important and vital role in creating an inclusive and trustworthy environment that strengthens the relationship between elected officials and their constituents.

5) Tip O’Neill famously said that “all politics is local.” What are the top-two issues your community or our state face today?

The top two issues are dealing with COVID-19 and the inequalities in our community.

6) Now for fun: Tell us something personal about yourself. It can be a hobby, your favorite food or something we might not know about you that you would like to share with our members.

I am a huge Cleveland Browns fan.