Trumbull County Democrats choose interim commissioner

CHAMPION, Ohio (WKBN) — Trumbull County Democrats cast their ballot Saturday and chose Mauro Cantalamessa as the interim commissioner, filling the seat left vacant by the death of Paul Heltzel.

It’s overwhelming. The ground of support we had just kept building and it is finally here and we are elated,” said Cantalamessa.

Cantalamessa’s campaign for November is already under way.

“He’s got about 4,000 signs that we are ready to put up,  and we’re ready to get all the forces and the campaigns together to mount a strong campaign for Mauro,” said Daniel Polivka, Trumbull County Commissioner.

Cantalamessa is filling the seat that the late Paul Heltzel left vacant when he passed away after a long battle with cancer. But getting to this point hasn’t been easy. It’s been non-stop campaigning for two weeks, while the Trumbull County Democratic Party had to seek legal advice on a potential conflict between the bylaws and constitution of the local party and the national committee when it came down to a “secret ballot.”

“We spent a lot of time over the past week or so researching that issue, we’ve been in consultation with the Secretary of State’s office who confirmed that the party did have an obligation to honor the local constitution in bylaws,” said Attorney Jeffrey Goodman.

After two rounds of paper balloting and a final public vote, Cantalamessa came out on top out of 10 candidates.

“I think Trumbull County’s brightest days are in front of us,  I really do.  I think together we can work together to make this a better place,” said Cantalamessa.

The small businessman and former school teacher now will have to run for the unexpired term again on the November ballot.

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