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MAYORAL RACE Hagan plans Youngstown candidacy



Published: Wed, February 9, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



No Republicans have entered the race.

COLUMBUS -- State Sen. Robert F. Hagan said Tuesday he will run this year for mayor of Youngstown.

"I'm in the race," said Hagan, D-Youngstown, who added that he will file nominating petitions Monday. The filing deadline for the May primary election is Feb. 17.

Hagan was appointed to the state Senate in 1997, was elected to a four-year term in 1999 and re-elected to his second and final term in 2002.

Hagan served in the Ohio House of Representatives from 1987 to 1997.

His experience

Hagan said his experience as a state lawmaker gives him an understanding of the problems facing cities like Youngstown, formerly an industrial center that now has a double-digit unemployment rate.

In November, Youngstown had an unemployment rate of 13.3 percent, according to the state.

& quot;Being a legislator certainly gives me a connection as to what the programs are and what the needs are and what other cities are going through, & quot; Hagan said.

& quot;[With] My colleagues here, I've discussed what's going on in Springfield and Elyria, which are basically sister cities of Youngstown, and I think that at least gives me the experience to understand what's going on and maybe to learn a little bit from these other cities, & quot; Hagan said.

Hagan said he believes he'll need to raise $100,000 to win a mayoral race and that he's begun raising campaign funds.

State Rep. Sylvester Patton, also a Youngstown Democrat, has already filed nominating petitions for mayor.

Other Democrats who have taken out petitions to run for mayor are Youngstown City Council President James Fortune, Sr.; John Swierz, a former 7th Ward councilman and Youngstown council president; and Youngstown City Councilman Michael Rapovy, D-5th.

Youngstown Police Chief Robert Bush and Jay Williams, Youngstown Community Development Agency director, have also said they would run for mayor.

Incumbent Mayor George McKelvey's second term ends at the end of this year. Term limits will force him to step aside.

No Republican mayoral candidates have yet been publicly identified.

The general election is in November.




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