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Democrat dating republican can last

COMMENTARY: Julie Jakmides, an Alliance City councilwoman and Republican, is dating Edmond Mack. He is a practicing attorney at Tzangas, Plakas, Mannos. Here's the catch: He is also a Democratic Canton City councilman.The first time Edmond Mack thought about dating Julie Jakmides, he was sure it wasn't going to work.He is, after all, the Canton Ward 8 councilman and a staunch Democrat.

Mack is a partner in the law firm Tzangas, Plakas, Mannos — a firm which, on occasion, has opposed Julie's father, Jeff Jakmides, a well-known civil and criminal attorney in Stark County."I'll be honest, I was a little hesitant at first because of the philosophical differences and both of our respective involvements in local politics," Mack said.

"In addition to that, we've worked on opposite sides of local political campaigns."Jakmides can respect his reluctancy because she had it, too.

"We went on two 'dates' before I realized he was interested," Jakmides said. On our first real date, Allen Schulman (a Democrat and president of Canton City Council) jokingly yelled at Edmond for daring to go on a date with a Republican."It's funny now because we go to dinner with Allen and his wife, but our first official date was interrupted before the entrees arrived because of the differences.

I thought that was going to shut down the tone for any relationship we'd have."They had an ah-ha moment early in their dating relationship when they were talking about campaigns.

Mack worked on behalf of Chryssa Hartnett's campaign for Stark County Common Pleas Judge.

Jakmides worked on behalf of Hartnett's opponent Curt Werren in a closely decided contest.That was before they really knew each other."We both administered the social media pages for those candidates," Jakmides said."I was so committed to Curt Werren's campaign that I wore a dog costume to some of his campaign events.Edmond heard me say that one day, and he looked up from his computer and said, 'You were the dog?We tried to figure out who was the dog.' We didn't know it back then, but we were working against each other."It seems political allegiances are dividing the country like never before.Half the country loves President Donald Trump, and the other half despises him.The same would have been true if Hillary Clinton had won the White House.Somehow, Mack and Jakmides have figured out how to not only respect each other's differences, but those views make each of them better."I've found that she makes me sharper," Mack said."She makes me re-evaluate my positions and my views. It makes me a better person, a better lawyer and a better public official."There are certain topics they won't find common ground or ever agree on. Abortion."We have had a lot of long conversations about (Trump)," Jakmides said."We've talked a lot about the immigration ban, but I think we're both more interested in the legal action some of his initiatives have caused."But, "we have far more conversations about local candidates and offices than anything else," Jakmides said."There will be candidates that he's on one side of, and candidates that I'm on the other side of probably forever.

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