Councilwoman Virginia Bufano won't be on the Democratic primary ballot.
WARREN -- Problems with their petitions of candidacy got four Democratic hopefuls tossed off the May 3 ballot and changed the flavor of three races in Warren.
The fourth race affected is in Girard's 4th Ward.
All four petitions suffered from "fatal errors" and were rejected Thursday by the Trumbull County Board of Elections, Director Kelly Pallante said.
In Warren, longtime incumbent Virginia Bufano, D-1st, won't be on the ballot. No other Democrat or Republican filed for the seat, and independent candidates have until May 2 to file.
Pallante said she is seeking clarification from the Ohio Secretary of State as to whether a Democratic write-in candidate for the city's 1st Ward is legal.
Bufano, 1422 Oakdale N.W., encountered a problem when the number of signatures a circulator said was witnessed on one page of her petition -- 14 -- didn't match the actual number of names on that page, which was 16.
She could not be reached for comment Thursday.
Bufano held the seat for 14 years before being defeated by Fiore Dippolito in 1998. In 2000, she regained the seat when Dippolito ran unsuccessfully for city auditor.
In the Warren 6th Ward contest, Jackie A. Hudson, 2443 Cranwood S.W., is no longer a candidate because a circulator didn't sign a name or address to all parts of the petition, attesting to the fact that they were the actual person who circulated it.
The incumbent Democrat in the 6th Ward seeking re-election is James A. Pugh, 548 Phillips.
Manuel Michelakis, 800 Oak Knoll N.E., won't be a Warren at-large council candidate. On two pages of his four-page petition, he didn't sign as the actual candidate -- attesting to who he is, and what office is sought.
There are three to elect in the at-large race. The remaining Democrats are incumbent Bob Dean, 4110 Sunnybrook S.E.; incumbent Gary M. Fonce, 379 Quarry; incumbent Felipe M. Romain Jr., 2993 Beal N.W.; William Kruppa, 1242 Perkinswood S.E.; Helen Rucker, 1007 Main S.W.; Tristan Hand, 704 Perkins; and E. Katrina Winters, 545 Roosevelt N.W.
In Girard's 4th Ward, Charles M. Doran, 132 E. Howard, had a circulator who didn't sign a petition page. Tossing that page meant Doran didn't have enough signatures to be a candidate.
The remaining candidate in Girard's 4th Ward is Dan Moadus, 113 Maple. Neither Doran nor Moadus is an incumbent officeholder.
Primary set for May 3
There will be primary elections May 3 in Warren, Niles, Girard and Hubbard.
Candidates whose petitions were good, but whose political parties didn't have enough candidates for contests in May, were nominated by the elections board to proceed to the general election ballot in November. These candidates are in Lordstown, McDonald, Newton Falls and municipal judge races in Niles, Girard, Warren and Newton Falls.
Three unopposed Republicans in May also went to the November ballot: Niki Frenchko, Warren at-large; George Brown, Warren 3rd Ward; and James Morris, Niles 1st Ward.