MAHONING COUNTY No independents file for retired judge's post
Two candidates submitted applications to Mahoning Republicans for the job.
By DAVID SKOLNICK
VINDICATOR POLITICS WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- There won't be any independent candidates on the November ballot running to replace retired Judge Robert Lisotto.
Monday was the deadline for independents -- also known as nonparty candidates -- to submit nominating petitions for the Mahoning County Common Pleas Court seat with at least 750 valid signatures.
Under state law, independents had until Monday, 11 days after Judge Lisotto's resignation became official, to gather the needed signatures.
Because of the short time frame and the number of signatures needed to get on the ballot, Mahoning election officials weren't surprised that no one submitted nominating petitions by Monday's deadline.
Mahoning Democratic precinct committee members selected Judge Elizabeth Kobly of Youngstown Municipal Court last week as the party's nominee for the position.
The six-member Mahoning Republican screening committee will meet at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at party headquarters on U.S. Route 224 in Boardman to discuss candidates for the post, but may not have much to do.
The committee is supposed to recommend three finalists to Gov. Bob Taft, a Republican who will appoint a successor to Judge Lisotto, a Democrat. Under state law, the governor is responsible for filling common pleas judicial vacancies.
As of Monday, only two people submitted applications for the post -- Maureen Sweeney, who lost the 2002 Mahoning Probate Court race as a Republican against Democratic Judge Timothy Maloney, and Leonard Hall, who ran in the 2000 Democratic primary in a losing effort against county Prosecutor Paul J. Gains.
Elaine Greaves, an attorney and bankruptcy court trustee, withdrew her name from consideration.