Rusu, Fabrizi file to run as independents in Probate Court race

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Monday was the deadline for non-party, or independent, candidates to try and get on the November ballot, and Attorney Rob Rusu of Canfield as well as Attorney Mary Ann Fabrizi will be running for the open seat on Mahoning County’s Probate Court.

Monday morning, Rusu filed his petitions at the Board of Elections in Youngstown. Fabrizi did so later Monday.

Rusu and Fabrizi will oppose whoever takes the nomination in Tuesday’s Democratic Primary, which pits Susan Maruca against Chris Sammarone.

Rusu said his years of experience practicing in Probate Court is much more extensive than either of the Democratic candidates.

“Different attorneys do different things. I have done nothing but probate work and issues with the elderly. Some of the other candidates have not done that. They do not have the depth of my experience being in the probate court for the 21 years that I have practiced there,” Rusu said.

He said he has handled all types of probate cases, including guardianships, adoptions and wrongful death settlements.

“I wanted to get involved because I feel I could do something positive for this community and help this probate court kind of dig out of this black cloud that it has had,” Rusu said.

He said if elected, he would like to see more use of online filings by the Court, as well as working closer with his counterpart in Trumbull County to review local rules for the probate courts in both counties.

Earlier this year, Mahoning County Probate Judge Mark Belinky resigned from the bench amid a continuing investigation by the state Attorney General’s office looking into possible corruption.

In mid-April, the Mahoning County Republican Party endorsed both Fabrizi and Rusu to replace Belinky.

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