YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The year 2018 will be a big year for politics in Ohio because of all the races for seats at the state level.
Two people have filed to run to become the representative in Ohio’s 59th District, and a third says he’ll file in the coming week.
The 59th District covers most of Mahoning County. Representative John Boccieri currently holds the seat, but he is running to become the state senator, which leaves an opening in Ohio’s House of Representatives.
Five days after announcing his candidacy for Ohio’s 59th District seat, Howland teacher Eric Ungaro was knocking on voters’ doors Sunday afternoon.
WATCH: Eric Ungaro full interview
Ungaro is the son of former Youngstown Mayor Pat Ungaro and is a currently a Poland Township trustee. He says he wants to be a voice for education and the fight against opiates.
“I think [I’ll be] a voice for families. Everyone sees the pie graphs, everyone talks about how many people are overdosing, but really to bring a passionate voice and make decisions that are best for families,” he said.
Meridian HealthCare CEO and Boardman Township Trustee Larry Moliterno also wants to become the Democratic nominee for the seat.
Moliterno says more decisions in Columbus need to be made based on thinking long-term.
WATCH: Larry Moliterno full interview
“What I felt was, people who are in these positions are not running government like a business. Every time when I’m trying to make a decision at my business, I’m looking five years down the line,” he said.
The 59th District seat has been held by a Democrat for many years. Republicans are hoping to change that and add to the majority they already hold in Ohio’s House.
Don Manning, who was defeated in 2016 for the seat, says in the coming days he’ll be filing to run again.
“What I keep hearing over and over again for the Democratic representatives that go down to Columbus, they say we can’t do anything, our hands are tied. Well, I think it’s time we try something different and send someone down there that the speaker will listen to,” he said.
WATCH: Don Manning full interview
Feb. 7 is the deadline to file to run as a party candidate, and the primary race will be held on May 8.