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Capri Cafaro will lead Senate minority in January

Published: Wed, November 12, 2008 @ 2:50 p.m.

COLUMBUS — Sen. Capri Cafaro, a Democrat from Liberty, was elected leader of the chamber’s minority party Thursday, following a closed-door meeting that lasted more than two hours.

Sen. Shirley Smith, from Cleveland, will retain her post as assistant minority leader when the new General Assembly starts its session in January. Current minority leader Ray Miller, from Columbus, was elected minority whip. And Sen. Jason Wilson, from Columbiana, was elected assistant minority whip.

For the remainder of the current term, Miller, Smith and Cafaro, currently the assistant minority whip, will retain their leadership positions as-is. One leadership seat, minority whip, has remained vacant since the departure of Sen. Lance Mason, who was appointed judge on the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court.


1RobinVanPersie(9 comments)posted 7 years, 2 months ago


Cannot even be elected by her constituents.

Cannot even be elected when she carpetbags to another district.

Can only be appointed when a seat is vacated.

Moves up the rungs of power that was never bestowed upon her by the citizens she represents.

God Bless the Democrat Party.

Absolutely hilarious. An absolute farce if there ever was one.

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2GoBucks00(3 comments)posted 7 years, 2 months ago

Uh, Robin... Her own constituents just elected her.. 8 days ago.

I guess you don't pay attention to the news. In fact, I remember seeing her on the ballot and selecting her name.

Seriously, you need to get over it. This woman has done great things already in Trumbull County. For someone who is not even aware that Cafaro was just elected, your opinion means nothing.

Also, please stay out of the Democratic party. We don't want or need people like you. People that over-exagerate and misconstrue facts are Republicans. Thanks.

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3Stan(9923 comments)posted 7 years, 2 months ago

What next for Capri?


Capri Cafaro, who made her first run for office at 26, is one of the youngest candidates to run for Congress, which has a minimum age requirement of 25. She says she decided to run to improve economic conditions in the district, which has lost manufacturing businesses and hemorrhaged jobs along with the rest of the state.

"I've seen what's happened to my community over time _ staggering job loss," she said.

Her other concerns are providing people with affordable health care coverage, taking care of senior citizens and providing tuition assistance for college students.

Cafaro, an heir to the Youngstown-based Cafaro Co. shopping center empire, spent about $200,000 of her own money to win a five-person primary election in the 14th District. She also logged about 10,000 miles on her car campaigning in the district that covers six counties.

Cafaro at a glance

Birth date: 1977-11-21
Birth place: Youngstown, OH
Residence: Hubbard, OH
Occupation: business owner
Education: Georgetown University
Stanford University

Campaign Finances: $631,654

"It's worth it to me to make that investment so we can get our message out there," she said.

Cafaro envisions becoming part of a regional coalition of Democrats working for northeast Ohio, if she can unseat five-term incumbent U.S. Rep. Steven LaTourette, a Republican from Madison. "I'm not part of the politics of the past," she said.

Cafaro's family had ties to former U.S. Rep. James Traficant, a nine-term Democrat from Youngstown who is serving eight years in federal prison for bribery and racketeering charges. Her father, J.J. Cafaro, pleaded guilty to bribing Traficant in an effort to get the Federal Aviation Administration to certify an airplane-landing system that was being marketed by U.S. Aerospace Group.

Her father, who was part-owner of the now-defunct company, received a reduced sentence of 15 months probation in 2002 for helping to prosecute Traficant. Capri Cafaro, who served as the company's president, was not charged with any wrongdoing.

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4RobinVanPersie(9 comments)posted 7 years, 2 months ago

Yeah "elected"

Maybe this time, but it took Daddy's money to get her in there in the first place. So her "election" has to be viewed as bought and paid for, which, coincidentally, it was.

Great things for Trumbull County? Name one.

Name any jobs, initiatives, etc. that she has brought to Trumbull County.

You can have this local Democrat Party (it isn't "Democratic Party" by the way.) They have done such a bang up job driving ALL industry out of the valley over the last 35 years, I am amazed you are one of "those people" who still support them.

OverexagGerate and misconstrue facts are Republicans? People that still live in the Mahoning Valley are Democrats. I think my insult is a lot more true and a lot more insulting than your broad attack. Wanker.

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5hubbardguy(32 comments)posted 7 years, 2 months ago

Yes, Ms. Cafaro was technically elected a few days ago but she ran unopposed so you really can't say she was "elected". Her name was the only one on the ballot for that office. It's amazing what money can do. She is a heiress to a fortune so we are probably stuck with her forever, the voice of electorate be damned. But I've seen this question asked before and never answered, and its a good one. During the same bribery trials in which her father was found guilty of a felony (the only reason he couldn't run for this office himself) Capri Cafaro was granted immunity in return for her testimony. IMMUNITY FROM WHAT? Innocent people are not granted immunity. Wasn't she President of the company for which the bribes were tendered? Are we supposed to believe she didn't know what was going on? And why has nobody looked into the Marc Dann connection? He was instrumental in recommending her to be appointed behind closed doors to his position after he was elected in a campaign in which Daddy Cafaro dumped huge amounts of cash. And I don't need to mention all the problems that followed that led to Dann's ultimate disgrace and ouster. Why is his chum Capri allowed to stay in office? How far can we be from a state bailout of malls? Why hasn't any newspaper investigated this? Wait. I forgot. The Eastwood Mall has a big advertising budget.

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6isaac45(375 comments)posted 7 years, 2 months ago

wow, if she's that bad i'll guess she'll be obama's veep in 2012, move on over joe

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7GoBucks00(3 comments)posted 7 years, 2 months ago


Are you really that uneducated? You sound just like that woman at the McCain rally that was convinced Obama was an "Arab."

First, please visit http://www.dnc.org. That is the website for the Democratic Party, not Democrat Party. I did not make the name up myself, the founders of the party did, so blame them. However, I feel the need to educate you because your ignronace shines through brightly.

Second, I do not have enough room for Cafaro's Senatorial and community accomplishemnts on here. If you genuinely are curious, I would start with the state nurse association, who just last year awarded Cafaro best senator. From there, I would contact transportation agencies in Trumbull and Ashtabula counties, they can give you the specific names of the projects Senator Cafaro fought for and secured in the Senate. That should keep you busy for a while...

It's people like yourself that inspire people to leave the Mahoning Valley. I don't want to be surrounded like idiots like yourself that want to complain, stay stuck in the past and don't do there homework.

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8CBDactivist(123 comments)posted 7 years, 2 months ago

You cant just note vote for her and skip it, if she got one vote, presumably her own, she would win.
If you want you could write in a candidate, or better yet you could run yourself!

I for one would vote for Capri !

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9GoBucks00(3 comments)posted 7 years, 2 months ago

YSUgrad99: I am a YSu grad, so props to both of us. But seriously, you really and unfairly make it seem that Sen. Cafaro rides around and does nothing and hands out cash. First of all, although you have not been as rude as some people, those that are worse make this a border-line ethnic slur about her ethnicity. That does not show much class.

Second, have you ever look into what she has done? You might make it clear that f she saved your life in the universe, you could care less, but others, many, many, many others who don't even read these online postings (or use the internet often for that matter) believe in what she does and is thankful for the help she brought Trumbull County. So please, don't hate. It reminds me of people constantly harping on Obama about petty things.

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10jhurtz33(1 comment)posted 7 years, 2 months ago

You people need to get over the past and move on. I have met Ms. Cafaro one time at a town hall meeting she had over the serious septic problem we have in Trumbull County. She took on the Ohio Department of health to help us and I was so impressed by her I began to follow her closely....

She started out as chairperson of the Transportation committe and did such a good job that the National Conference on State Legislatures made her there National Vice Chair regarding Highway Funding issues. Once the leadership in Columbus saw her ability they made her Chair of the Finance committee. As chair of that committee she secured $500,000 for the Warren Business Incubator, $100,000 for the City of Niles Recreation Center, $50,000 for the Veterans Memorial in Warren and $50,000 for Someplace Safe Womens Shelter. She also got Ashtbula County there first appropriation ever out of the Capitol budget ever when she secured a couple hundred thousand dollars for Glenbeigh Hospital.

You people should judge her by her performance in office and not on things that she has no control over. If any of you had a conversation with her on the issues I gurantee you would change your oppinion.

Everyone should be proud that are valley is represented in a top position in this state.So sit on here and complain that she dosent deserve this all you want, but im proud to have Capri as my Senator and the people of Ohio are going to be proud of what she will accomplish in this new roll.

I wish her the best.

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11Stan(9923 comments)posted 7 years, 2 months ago



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12hubbardguy(32 comments)posted 7 years, 2 months ago

Thanks, Stan. EVERYBODY should make this article required reading. And it sure is easy to spot the postings from Cafaro employees, isn't it? And here's another question. She claims to have spent $200,000 of her "own money" on the campaign. Where did she get $200K ? Where did she work that she made this kind of money. Did it come directly from Daddy? And where/how was it spent? Did you see a Cafaro sign or hear any radio or television advertisements? Where was this $200,000 spent? And where did it come from? Not to mention the over $600,000 reported to be spent on the campaign. How do you spend $200,000 or more on an uncontested race? Think about it.

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