Candidates seek local, statewide offices

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Wednesday was the deadline for filing petitions to run in the May 6 primary and the ballots in Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties will be filled with familiar names in local politics.

In Trumbull County, Commissioner Frank Fuda of Niles is seeking to retain his seat. He will run in the Democratic primary against Lisha Pompili Baumiller of Hubbard. The winner will face off in the fall against Republican Patricia Hale Paridon of McDonald.

Auditor Adrian Biviano is unopposed in the primary and no one has filed as a Republican.

For the 63rd state representative seat, incumbent Sean O’Brien of Cortland will face off in the Democratic primary against Marianne James of Niles. The winner of that race will face Republican Devon Stanley in the fall.

Three Democrats are seeking the nomination for the 64th state representative seat, including former Warren Mayor Michael O’Brien, Eugene Mach II and Ken MacPherson, all of Warren. Former state representative Randy Law of Warren is running unopposed for the Republican nomination and Elaine Mastromatteo of Bristolville is running as a Green Party candidate. Tom Letson cannot run again because of term limits, so he is running for the state Supreme Court.

Trumbull County Common Pleas Court Judge Peter Kontos is seeking re-election and has no competition in the primary or in the November general election.

The Democratic race for Trumbull County Probate Court has drawn three candidates, including William Flevares, James Fredericka and Patricia Leopardi Knepp, all of Warren. Unless someone files as a non-party candidate, the Democratic nominee will win the seat in November because no Republicans have filed. Current Judge Thomas Swift cannot seek re-election because of age limits.

In Mahoning County, a political newcomer is hoping to challenge one of the Valley’s longest-serving politicians in the fall. Paul Mitchell of Canfield filed his petitions Wednesday morning to run for the Republican nomination for the 59th State House seat, which is now held by Democrat Ron Gerberry of Austintown, who is running for re-election.

For the 58th District House seat, Democrat Bob Hagan is prevented from running again because of term limits. His wife, Michelle Lepore Hagan, is running for the seat, while Bob Hagan is considering a run for U.S. Senate in 2016.

Challenging Lepore Hagan for the Democratic nomination will be Cynthia McWilson of Youngstown, city councilwoman Janet Tarpley and Michael E. O’Hara of Youngstown.

One of the most hotly contested races in Mahoning County is the Democratic nomination for the 7th District Court of Appeals. Local attorney and former Mahoning County commmissioner David Engler filed his petitions Wednesday morning to replace the retiring Joe Vukovich. Engler will be challenged by Anthony D’Onofrio. The winner will face Republican Carol Robb in the fall.

Local attorney Mark Hanni filed petitions Wednesday to challenge incumbent Cheryl Waite for a second seat on the 7th District Court of Appeals. Hanni also ran for the judgeship in 2012, where he narrowly lost to Mary DeGennaro.

For Mahoning County Probate Court, incumbent Mark Belinky will be challenged in the May primary by attorney Susan Maruca and Chris Sammarone, who is the son of former Youngstown mayor Chuck Sammarone.

In Columbiana County, 6th District U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson is unchallenged in the Republican primary, but he will face off in the fall against the winner of the Democratic primary. The candidates are Jennifer Garrison and Gregory Howard. Also running for the seat in the May primary is Dennis Lambert, a Green Party candidate.

For state representative in the 5th district, Democrat Nick Barborak will face off again in the fall with Republican Craig Newbold, who he defeated in 2012. Both men are unchallenged in the May primary and also will face Libertarian candidate Martin Elsass.

In the Columbiana County commissioner race, Republican Mike Halleck is unchallenged in May and will face off against Dan Bailey or Nathan Walker, both of Salem, who are running for the Democratic nomination.

In statewide races, Republican Attorney General Mike DeWine is unopposed in the May primary, but he will be challenged in the fall by Democrat David Pepper and Libertarian candidate Steven Linnabary.

Incumbent State Auditor David Yost also is unopposed in the Republican primary, but he will face a challenge in November from Democrat John Patrick Carney and Libertarian Robert Coogan.

Gov. John Kasich, a Republican, also has filed for re-election and has once again chosen Mary Taylor as his running mate for lieutenant governor. The pair will face off in November against the winner of the Democratic nomination. Edward FitzGerald and Sharen Neuhardt will run against Larry Ealy and Ken Gray in May. Kasich also will have to run against Libertarian ticket Charles Earl and Sherry Clark, as well as Green Party ticket Dennis Spisak and Suzanne Patzer.

Secretary of State Jon Husted, a Republican, is unopposed in the May primary. Democrat Nina Turner and Libertarian Aaron Keith Harris will challenge Husted in November.

Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, also a Republican, is unopposed in May. He will be challenged in the fall by Libertarian Marc Allan Feldman and Democrat Connie Pillich.

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