Party deadlines loom for candidates

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) –  It appears a sitting Mahoning County Common Pleas Court judge will not have to face an opponent this fall.

Local Democrat attorneys had until 5 p.m. Friday to apply for the chance to get their name on the ballot to replace the party’s nominee, Mark Hanni, who pulled himself out of the race late last month.

But no one has expressed any interest in running for the position to challenge incumbent Judge Maureen Sweeney. Party Chairman Dave Betras said he is not surprised by the lack of would-be candidates.

“Infrequently will judges get an opponent, be it from either party. Maureen Sweeney is a Republican, but once you are in there, it is very hard to beat an incumbent judge that is elected,” Betras said.

Ironically, Hanni had won the nomination by running in the primary as an 11th-hour write-in candidate. No other Democrats ran in the May primary.

Mahoning County Republican leaders are looking for another candidate to run for county auditor in November after former Canfield Township Trustee Bill Reese took himself out of the race because of an unexpected medical issue.

Reese had won his party’s nomination during the primary last May and was set to challenge incumbent Mike Sciortino. Party leaders now have until Aug. 11 to name a successor candidate.

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