STRUTHERS Hagan's re-election bid keeps mayor at home
Hagan's decision also caused the county recorder to drop out of the race.
By DAVID SKOLNICK
VINDICATOR POLITICS WRITER
STRUTHERS -- Mayor Daniel C. Mamula will not run for state Senate primarily because Robert F. Hagan, the person who has the post, is seeking re-election.
"At this time and under current circumstances, it would not be in the best interest of my community or the district to seek the position," he said.
Mamula, mayor here for the past 11 years, was seriously considering a run for Senate when Hagan, a Youngstown Democrat, said he was vacating the state Legislature to seek a congressional position.
What happened: Hagan dropped his congressional bid last week, causing Mamula to re-evaluate his plans.
Hagan's decision also led Mahoning County Recorder Ronald V. Gerberry, a Democrat, to pull out of the race.
"I was concerned someone would run who maybe wasn't quite attuned to urban redevelopment and brownfield issues as he is," Mamula said in reference to Hagan. "When he went back to the seat, I was no longer interested. I feel more comfortable where I am."
Mamula, a Democrat, said Hagan's Senate seniority offers the best opportunity for Struthers and the Mahoning River Corridor Planning Committee, which the mayor chairs, to move ahead with urban and brownfield redevelopment efforts.
The 33rd Senate District includes all of Mahoning County and Carroll counties and portions of Stark and Tuscarawas counties. Mahoning makes up about 75 percent of the district's population.
The filing deadline is Feb. 21. Hagan has turned in his nominating petitions.
GOP candidate: Holly Hanni, a former Democrat who changed political affiliations two years ago, plans to run as a Republican for the state Senate seat. She is president of the Mahoning County Young Republicans and secretary of the Ohio League of Young Republicans.
"We keep sending people to Columbus who accomplish nothing," Hanni said.
As a daughter of Atty. Don L. Hanni Jr., a former Mahoning Democratic Party chairman, Hanni said she often raises eyebrows when she tells people her last name and party affiliation.
"Locally, it's a disadvantage," she said of being a Hanni and a Republican.
Hanni said they are particularly cautious because her brother, Mark, is challenging Mahoning GOP Chairman Clarence Smith for the party's leadership, something in which she is not involved.