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“If the seat is available, you either kick the door in or you let it close.”

Tuscarawas Count Commissioner Kerry Metzger used that philosophy when navigating his career path, and it took him on a 32-year career with seats at the municipal, state and county levels of government.

His first door opened in 1986 when, while he was raking leaves, a woman affiliated with the Republican party approached him with political literature. The self-proclaimed elections junkie, who was also running a dental practice, informed her he was looking to devote more time to politics. A few weeks later, he was invited to a candidate recruitment night where he was asked to run for an open seat on the New Philadelphia city council.

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