YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Mahoning County’s Democratic Party Chairman is giving some members of Youngstown City Council an ultimatum — either support endorsed mayoral candidate Tito Brown or don’t support anyone — or they’re off the party’s executive committee.
A picture on Memorial Day showed three members of Youngstown City Council — Lauren McNally, Basia Adamczak, and Julius Oliver — all publicly supporting Sean McKinney for Youngstown Mayor.
“His viewpoints, his plans are more in line with the progress the city has already made,” Oliver said. “And also with the progress I would like to make in the city.”
For all three on the Mahoning County Democratic Party executive committee, the constitution requires they support Brown since he is the Democratic nominee.
Party Chairman Dave Betras said if they continue supporting McKinney, they’ll be removed from the committee, which primarily allows them to vote on endorsing candidates.
“If you’re in a club and the club’s rules are you got to support ‘X’ and you don’t support ‘X,’ then you got to get out of the club,” Betras said. “It’s as simple as that.”
McNally said council has done a lot in the past two years and she thinks McKinney is better suited to keep the momentum going.
Adamczak said she wants a candidate aligned with her vision, so she is still standing behind McKinney.
“Of course, I’m not going to submit to politics as usual, picking candidates and going along with the political games as most of the party has done in the past,” Oliver said.
“I’m very competitive,” Brown said. “I’m open. Do what you want to do but don’t wear the uniform and then support someone else.”
Oliver said Betras is doing a disservice to the Democratic Party by forcing him to decide. He added that he has encouraged younger people to get involved in politics and that’s not the voice you want to quiet.
“If I am to step down from an executive committee, then he should step down as chair because he’s failed the party in a great way,” Oliver said.
“I invite Julius to run against me for chairman,” Betras said. “I invite him to go in front of the committeemen and say that he did not support the nominee of the party and therefore, he deserves to be chairman.”
McKinney said he didn’t know anything about the issue between Betras and the council members. When asked for an interview, McKinney said he was not available.