Retired fire captain wins Canton City Council Ward 8 race

February 17 • 2024

This past November, we featured four IAFF members who ran for office and won. Read their interviews here and check out our social media for more behind-the-scenes looks at our members’ election efforts across the United States. 

This month, we are following up with these members to see how they prepared for their new roles and how their first few months are going.  


Sacco and City of Canton Mayor William Sherer II.

Richard Sacco, a respected retired fire captain and Canton, OH Local 249 member, with a lifelong dedication to public service, has triumphed in the Canton City Council Ward 8 election, bringing his passion and commitment to the forefront of local governance.  

Sworn into office in December, Sacco officially assumed his responsibilities in January. “I’ve been learning a lot, going around all the different departments,” he said.  

Sacco credits his years of firefighting experience for instilling a deep appreciation for the importance of preparation and hands-on engagement. Reflecting on his journey, Sacco drew parallels between his time in the fire service and the challenges he anticipates facing in his new political role. 

“Being in the fire service has equipped me with invaluable skills and insights,” he said. “Understanding contracts is crucial and experience in union negotiations has sharpened my ability to navigate these complex situations easily.”  

Throughout his campaign, Sacco says he leaned on the unwavering support of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), recognizing the guidance as instrumental in shaping his campaign strategies and messaging. 

Sacco in council chambers.

“They provided tremendous assistance. They took the time to sit down with me, explain procedures, outline necessary steps, and even refined my materials. It is remarkable how the local, state association, and international rallied to support me, especially considering the scale of the race,” he said. “The IAFF is a great resource for fire fighters considering running for political office. 

Sacco is committed to inspiring his community, including fellow fire fighters considering political office. “You have to let them know that you’re there. The more you are involved, the more you can address issues.”