Sykes to lead black lawmakers

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Democrat Barbara Sykes of Akron, who won her second term as a state representative on Nov. 5, was elected Monday as president of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus.

Sykes, who will take over when the new session of the Legislature begins in January, replaces state Sen. C.J. Prentiss, a Cleveland Democrat who must step aside after four years because of caucus term limits.

Sykes said black lawmakers will continue to advocate education and urban development and work more to recruit candidates, raise money and encourage people to vote. The caucus was founded in 1967.

"These are the things we need to do in order to be successful," Sykes said.

She formerly was an Akron City Council member and a deputy auditor in Summit County. She lost the 1994 election for state treasurer to Republican Kenneth Blackwell.

Also elected to leadership were Democratic Reps. Sylvester Patton of Youngstown, first vice president; Shirley Smith of Cleveland, second vice president; Edna Brown of Toledo, treasurer; and Claudette Woodard of Cleveland, secretary.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)