McNally, Traficanti celebrate wins, look ahead to November
Each winner will face a Republican and independent opponent in the fall.
By BOB JACKSON
VINDICATOR COURTHOUSE REPORTER
YOUNGSTOWN -- John McNally IV didn't spend much time basking in his primary election victory Tuesday.
"There is still work to be done," McNally said. "I have another race to win."
But Anthony Traficanti, who also won his primary race, spoke like a man already looking forward to occupying a commissioner's chair in 2005.
"The people wanted change and they got it with Anthony Traficanti," the jubilant candidate said outside his Boardman campaign headquarters. "We are going to move this county forward."
McNally defeated Mark Belinky and Beth Stanko to become the Democratic nominee for the Mahoning County commissioner seat held by Ed Reese, who is not seeking re-election.
According to complete but unofficial results, McNally gathered 50 percent of the votes in his race, with 36 percent going to Belinky and 14 percent to Stanko.
In the November general election, McNally, 34, of Youngstown, will take on Republican candidate Patrick Strange of Campbell and independent candidate Christopher Pochiro of Boardman.
Traficanti will be the Democratic nominee in the race to replace Commissioner Vicki Allen Sherlock, who also did not run for another term. He received 52 percent of the votes cast, compared with 35 percent for Austintown Township Trustee David Ditzler and 6 percent for William E. Flickinger.
Traficanti, 38, of Poland, will face Republican Sam Moffie of Boardman and independent candidate Michael Fortine of Canfield in November.
Commissioner David Ludt, who actively supported Traficanti, said he will work with whomever wins in November.
"My goal will be to just try to bring everybody together," Ludt said.
Traficanti was regional director for former U.S. Rep. James A. Traficant Jr. He's making his first bid for elected office. He credited his victory to strong support from organized labor.
Ditzler said he was disappointed at the outcome, especially that he lost in his home township. He wondered whether his outspoken support for a failed police levy there is what led to his defeat.
"The numbers in my race look about the same as the numbers for the [police] levy," he said. "It just makes you wonder. And if that's what it was, then I'm disappointed."
Belinky, an attorney and former president of the Democrats of the 17th and 6th Districts, could not be reached to comment.
'A new generation'
McNally said county residents are "looking for a new generation of leadership" in Mahoning County politics. He said he campaigned hard in the primary and will continue working toward a general election win.
"I hit a lot of bingo games and bowling alleys and spaghetti dinners," said McNally, who is Youngstown's law director. "I tried to reach out to as many people as I could."
With the loss of Mahoning County's 0.5 percent sales tax Tuesday, McNally said whoever wins in November will be faced with a challenging financial situation. He said the county will have to begin now the process of consolidating and streamlining county services to keep the budget in check.
Traficanti declined to comment on the sales tax defeat.