By DAVID SKOLNICK
VINDICATOR POLITICS WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- Sylvester D. Patton Jr. says he isn't getting out of politics when he leaves the Ohio House at the end of this year.
Patton, of Brentwood Avenue, said he plans to run next year for the Youngstown City Council 5th Ward seat. Patton couldn't seek re-election this year to the 60th House District seat because of state term limits.
Michael Rapovy of Coral Sea Drive, the 5th Ward councilman, can't run for his seat next year because of the city's term limit law. Rapovy is among four of the seven-member council who can't run for re-election next year.
"It's an open seat, and I bring a wealth of experience with me," said Patton, a state House member for nearly 10 years. "It's not too often in this area that you get a state representative come home to serve locally. This will give me the opportunity to continue my public service."
Patton and Rapovy unsuccessfully ran last year in the Democratic primary for Youngstown mayor.
As Patton finishes up his last term in the Ohio House, he is serving as the Mahoning County coordinator for two statewide candidates: Barbara Sykes of Akron, running for auditor, and Ben Espy of Columbus, running for a seat on the Ohio Supreme Court.
Patton's House district includes all of Youngstown, Struthers, Campbell, Lowellville and Coitsville as well as part of Austintown. Youngstown's 5th Ward includes most of the city's southwest portion.
"It will probably be a lot less stressful" running for council, Patton said. "You can actually walk door-to-door."
Patton praised the current city council as one that works as a collective unit instead of just looking out for what's best for their respective wards.
"One of my pet peeves is councilpersons who don't represent the entire city," he said. "Council needs to work for the betterment of the entire city."