Across Valley, many celebrate
Voters approved most school-tax issues in the Mahoning Valley.
By DAVID SKOLNICK
VINDICATOR POLITICS WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- The results of the Democratic primary for Youngstown council president will not be known for at least two weeks.
But there is no doubt about the winners of the Democratic mayoral primaries in Warren, Hubbard, Girard and McDonald.
Councilman James E. Fortune Sr., D-6th, is the unofficial winner of the Democratic primary for Youngstown council president, beating John R. Swierz, the incumbent, by 16 votes, or two-tenths of 1 percent.
There are still uncounted provisional votes -- at least 31 -- that will be opened May 19 by the Mahoning County Board of Elections. If the margin of victory is five-tenths of 1 percent or less after those votes are counted, there will be an automatic recount.
There won't be automatic recounts in mayoral primaries in the Mahoning Valley.
In Trumbull County
Trumbull County Commissioner Michael J. O'Brien defeated four other challengers for the open Warren mayoral seat in the Democratic primary. Mayor Hank Angelo is not seeking re-election. O'Brien beat city Safety-Service Director Fred Harris, who finished in second place, by nearly 30 percentage points.
O'Brien faces Republican Randy Law and three independent candidates in the November general election.
Hubbard Mayor George Praznik was soundly defeated by former Trumbull County commissioner Arthur U. Magee, his former friend and an ex-mayor, in Tuesday's Democratic primary, 70 percent to 30 percent. Magee becomes the mayor-elect because he is unopposed in the Nov. 6 general election.
Girard Mayor James J. Melfi had little trouble defeating three candidates, including council President Louis J. Adovasio and former Mayor Vincent E. Schuyler.
Melfi, who has no challengers in the Nov. 6 general election and is thus re-elected to a second four-year term, received 45 percent of the vote.
Adovasio and Schuyler fared poorly, capturing 9 percent and 14 percent of the vote, respectively. Joseph P. Shelby, a political newcomer, finished second with 32 percent of the vote.
McDonald Mayor James W. Border easily beat challenger Rose Yakubov 70 percent to 30 percent. He faces former Councilman Jack J. Dugan Jr., an independent, in November.
Fate of tax levies
For the most part, it was a good night for tax levies.
Levy proposals in the South Range, Salem, Howland, Liberty and Warren school districts, as well as Trumbull County Fairhaven were approved by voters. Also, residents of Liberty, Bristol and Campbell approved tax levies.
Voters in the Sebring and Bristol school districts rejected tax levies, and Weathersfield School District voters overwhelmingly said no to a proposed 1-percent school income tax.