Presiding judge in Mahoning County doesn’t get endorsement

BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) — A sitting judge loses his party’s endorsement.

While a man who wanted to get on the bench withdraws from the race.

It all happened this morning when at the Mahoning County Democrats meeting.

One by one, Democratic candidates who want to be a state representative, judge and commissioner pitched themselves to voting committee members.

In his three minute speech for 7th district court of appeals, David Engler announced he’s withdrawing from the race.

“And I will be supporting my opponent Anthony Donofrio in this race,” said David Engler.

Engler, who has been in the news for tax liens says, says he’ll continue working as an advocate for people.

Anthony Donofrio got the party’s nomination, and says the fact that his brother sits on this bench isn’t an issue.

“I don’t think it presents any issue at all. my brother is not going to tell me what to do, I’m going to make my decisions based on the law,” said Anothony Donofrio.

Probate Judge Mark Belinky whose house and office were raided earlier this month by Ohio BCI  and FBI agents did not get the party’s nomination, his opponent Susan Maruca did.

“My personal problems certainly had a big effect, I’m sure of that. I’m not shying away from that. I file for re-election and all hell breaks loose,” said Judge Mark Belinky.

The judge says he’s disappointed in the Democratic party, but still plans to run against Marruca and Chris Sammarone.

“I don’t think it’s about me. I think it’s just about people caring about families now and understanding what that court is about,” said Susan Marruca.

Another big race, the 58th district. A familiar name got the endorsement, Michele Lepore-Hagan. Husband Bob Hagan is term limited out for the seat. She talked to us about what she sees as top priorities.

“Mostly importantly, we need to renew our commitment to public education at every level,” said Michele Lepore-Hagain.

With or without their party’s support candidates have the next two and half months until voters decide in the May primary.


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