ELECTION ROUNDUP Davis bows out of race
Two cities are seeking income-tax increases.
By DAVID SKOLNICK
VINDICATOR POLITICS WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- Former labor leader Warren Davis has decided to drop his long-shot bid for the 17th Congressional District seat.
Davis, of Akron, withdrew Thursday, citing his ongoing dispute with the United Auto Workers, whose officials have repeatedly called Davis deceitful for going back on his word to honor the union's mandatory retirement policy.
Davis, 67, could not be reached to comment, but an answering machine message at his Akron campaign headquarters says he has withdrawn from the race.
Maryanne Young, his campaign spokeswoman, said today that Davis' effort to prove he is the victim of age discrimination was taking too much time away from his congressional campaign.
Most political observers said Davis had no chance to win the congressional race, but that his presence would have taken votes away from Timothy J. Ryan of Niles, the Democratic candidate. Now, most of those who would have voted for Davis, expected to be in the single digits, will side with Ryan, political observers say.
Davis had been with the UAW for 48 years, including 19 years as its Region 2 director. Davis was expected to retire in June to comply with a union rule prohibiting officers from seeking office after the age of 65. UAW officials and members say Davis had verbally committed to retiring.
Davis shocked many in June when he sought re-election. He was elected to the Region 2 position, but a day later, the UAW governing body eliminated Davis' region and withdrew its endorsement of his congressional candidacy. The endorsement later went to Ryan.
Also, two UAW officials who each donated $1,000 to Davis' campaign demanded they get their donations back. Davis honored their demands.
With Davis out of the race, that leaves Ryan, Republican Ann Womer Benjamin of Aurora, and former U.S. Rep. James A. Traficant Jr. of Poland, who is serving an eight-year federal prison sentence for bribery, racketeering and tax evasion.
The 17th District will, beginning next year, consist of portions of Mahoning, Trumbull, Portage and Summit counties.
In other election news, property owners in Poland, Canfield and Boardman are being asked to approve new tax levies for their school systems on the Nov. 5 ballot.
School officials submitted the required paperwork to the Mahoning County Board of Elections by Thursday's deadline.
Residents in Poland -- by a narrow margin -- and Canfield rejected similar requests in May.
Voters in the Joseph Badger Local School District in Kinsman will consider a 0.5 percent bond issue to spend $7.87 million over the next 23 years to construct, renovate and improve school buildings.
Those working or residing in Youngstown and Girard are being asked to approve issues on the Nov. 5 ballot calling for them to pay an additional 0.5 percent of their salaries to those cash-strapped cities.
Girard wants to increase its income tax fee to 2.5 percent, and Youngstown's would jump to 2.75 percent.
Columbiana School District is seeking a 1 percent income tax to pay for operating expenses.
Mahoning County residents will get to vote again on a 0.5 percent sales tax for five years.
Voters rejected the issue in May.
Residents in Milton, Yankee Lake, Champion, Hartford, East Liverpool, New Waterford, Washingtonville and Wellsville are being asked for more taxes for police, fire, recreational and-or operating expenses.
Austintown residents will have the chance to repeal a March decision by their trustees to implement home rule, a limited form of self-government.
Dozens of communities in Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties will consider ballot questions calling for the sale of beer, wine and liquor in their neighborhoods.
Thursday was the deadline to file petitions with county boards of elections on questions and issues, as well as for those running in nonpartisan political races that did not have May partisan primaries.
The only seat that falls under that category is Mahoning County Court judge. That race will pit Judge Loren Popio against Atty. Diane Vettori and Michael Dockry, Austintown township administrator.
Editor's note: Complete filings will be published Saturday.