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Pete Gerken Biography

Commissioner Pete Gerken

Pete Gerken
Lucas County Commissioner                                             

Pete Gerken was elected as Lucas County Commissioner in 2005 after beating longtime incumbent Harry Barlos by more than 12 points. Commissioner Gerken has since been overwhelmingly reelected to office and served as President of the Board of Lucas County Commissioners from 2009 to 2013.

Pete Gerken began his career in public service in 1996, when he was appointed to an At-Large seat on Toledo City Council. As an eight-year member of council, then Councilman Gerken chaired the Environmental, Utilities, and Public Service Committee and was strongly involved in both "Toledo Backs Jeep" campaigns. 

Currently, Commissioner Gerken serves on the Board of Directors for the County Commissioners Association of Ohio (CCAO). In addition, Commissioner Gerken serves as Chair of both the CCAO Metro Committee and Lucas County Solid Waste District board and is a Member of the Board of Directors for the Lucas County Land Bank, Central Catholic High School, Lucas County Plan Commission, and the Lucas County Investment Advisory Board. Commissioner Gerken has taken the lead on economic development efforts in the region and his involvement was instrumental in the development of the multi-purpose Huntington Arena in downtown Toledo. He also fought for the creation of the Commissioner's Citizen Levy Review Committee, which has provided a transparent review of tax levies since 2005. Additional policy priorities include solid waste management, public utilities advocacy, and issues of downtown revitalization. 

Pete Gerken was born in Toledo and grew up in the historic Old West End neighborhood. He attended Central Catholic High School, graduating in 1969. In 1991, he received a BS in Organizational Behavior from the University of Toledo. For 30 years, he worked for Jeep / Daimler-Chrysler as a member of the United Auto Workers (UAW). In December, 2004, he retired as Co-Administrator of the UAW Daimler-Chrysler Ohio Training Center.

He lives in South Toledo with his wife, Polly. Together, they have four children, Christopher, Joshua, Laura and Cindy, and one grandchild, Millie.