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YOUNGSTOWN POLITICS Bush, Fortune, Rapovy join the race for mayor



Published: Wed, February 16, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



There will also be primary contests for Struthers council president and judge.

YOUNGSTOWN -- Three more people turned in nominating petitions to run for Youngstown mayor.

None were surprises.

They were: Police Chief Robert Bush; James Fortune Jr., Youngstown City Council president, and Councilman Michael Rapovy of the 5th Ward. All turned in their petitions Tuesday. All had vowed to run in the Democratic primary on May 3 for the mayoral seat.

State Rep. Sylvester D. Patton Jr., and state Sen. Robert F. Hagan turned in their petitions earlier this week. The filing deadline is 4 p.m. Thursday.

Former council President John Swierz said he will submit his nominating petitions to the Mahoning County Board of Elections shortly.

Others are expected to file in the Democratic primary, but none have the name recognition of Swierz or those who've already filed. Republicans won't field a candidate in the mayoral race.

Also, nonparty, also known as independent, candidates have until May 2, the day before the partisan primary, to submit petitions to run in the November general election.

Jay Williams, head of the city's community development agency, has said he will file as a nonparty candidate.

Also, former state Sen. Harry Meshel, who spent 23 years in the Senate, won't run in the Democratic primary. He is keeping his options open to running in the general election as a nonparty candidate.

The candidates

Bush, 57, of Struthers-Liberty Road, said he is the only candidate to file with first-hand knowledge of the city's administration. For the past 31/2 years, Bush has served as police chief. Before that, he spent four years as law director.

Bush's platform centers around a continued police effort to reduce violent crime through a zero tolerance policy, to remove blight and demolish vandalized homes, and to encourage development in the downtown area.

Rapovy, 47, of Coral Sea Drive, said he represents new thinking and a new way of doing things.

"The rest of the field is from the old generation, and I'm the new generation," said Rapovy, a six-year councilman.

Fortune, 67, of Dewey Avenue, said he's the most experienced of the mayoral candidates. Fortune spent 221/2 years as the 6th Ward councilman before being elected two years ago as council president.

Fortune wants to push a regional approach to move the city and the Mahoning Valley ahead. Fortune points to his involvement with the council presidents in Struthers and Campbell as evidence of his commitment to the effort.

In Struthers

Also, there will be a Democratic primary for Struthers council president. Robert D. Carcelli, the incumbent, was considering a nonparty run. That's how he was elected in 2003. But Carcelli opted to run in the Democratic primary. He will face Councilman Anthony R. Protopapa of the 1st Ward.

Judge James Lanzo of Struthers Municipal Court is being challenged in the Democratic primary by Alan J. Matavich, who unsuccessfully ran for city law director two years ago.




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