Candidates make case for why they should be Youngstown’s next mayor

The four candidates discussed everything from race to current Youngstown Mayor John McNally's comment that none of them were fit to be mayor

Candidates' forum, Youngstown mayor, Brown, McKinney, Tarpley, Monroe
Top L to R: Brown, Tarpley; Bottom L to R: McKinney, Monroe

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The four candidates on the ballot for Youngstown mayor appeared before a large crowd Monday night and explained why they should be elected.

The candidates’ forum attracted a crowd of about 250 in the old sanctuary at Youngstown’s New Bethel Baptist Church. Four of the candidates on the forum are vying for city mayor.

“Nobody had to rope me in here. I walked in on my own two feet, fed myself,” Cecil Monroe said.

Monroe started the evening but the other candidates followed.

“You know what Janet Tarpley’s going to do? Janet Tarpley’s going to fight for you,” Tarpley said.

“I have handled the $180 million budget that we have and that we will continue to work with,” Sean McKinney said.

“I want to talk about minimum wage jobs. I want to talk about safer neighborhoods. I want to talk about reinvesting back into our youth,” Jamael “Tito” Brown said.

One question asked was if having four black candidates helped or hurt unification of the black community. No one said it hurt and McKinney referenced President Obama, who was told not run.

“But what did he do? He ran and won,” McKinney said.

The candidates were asked about a statement from current Mayor John McNally that none of them were fit to be mayor.

“No, it didn’t matter to me because — listen, John McNally is a criminal so I don’t care about his opinion,” Tarpley said.

Also raised was the issue of requiring department heads to live in the city.

McKinney said he’d pick the best person.

Tito Brown gave a two-candidate, equal qualification example.

“One’s in the city, one’s out of the city. The one in the city will get the job first,” he said.

“I haven’t promised nobody anything. Janet Tarpley hasn’t promised not one person anything,” Tarpley said.

“We have the space, we have the land, it’s very affordable. You can build yourself a beautiful house,” Monroe said.

There was also a lively debate between the two candidates for Youngstown Clerk of Courts.

Challenger Dario Hunter said it was time for a new generation to get a chance at leadership, while incumbent Sarah Brown-Clark told the audience to go forward with what they know.

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