By David Skolnick
Struthers Mayor Terry Stocker, re-elected a month ago, said he’ll file nominating petitions by today’s deadline for Mahoning County commissioner.
Stocker, a Democrat, will join what will be the most crowded field for a seat on the March 6 primary ballot in the Mahoning Valley.
Several candidates want to succeed Commissioner John McNally IV, who isn’t seeking re-election when his term ends Jan. 2, 2013.
“I want to take advantage of the open seat; I had no idea John would give up his seat,” said Stocker, who is finishing his first four-year term as mayor, and is to start his second four-year term in January after last month’s election victory.
“I want to take my experience in Struthers and bring it to the county level,” said Stocker, who previously served 18 years on Struthers City Council. “It’s not that I don’t love being mayor. I’ll continue to serve if I don’t win” the commissioner’s race.
Four Democratic candidates have already filed: Austintown Trustee David Ditzler; Richard “Oz” Ouzounian of Boardman, who operates a communications company; Domenic Delmonte of Austintown, a truck driver and heavy-equipment operator; and Frank Bellamy of Youngstown, who was defeated last month for that city’s clerk-of-courts seat.
Besides Stocker, other Democrats who say they are filing for McNally’s seat today include: former Youngstown Councilman Jerome McNally [John’s cousin], Walter “Buzz” Pishkur of Boardman, director of business development for United Water and the former president and chief executive officer of Forum Health and Aqua Ohio; and Joe Louis Teague of Youngstown, who’s unsuccessfully run for several political offices.
Also, former Boardman Trustee Robyn Gallitto and Gary O’Nesti, managing principal of a real-estate development business, have expressed interest in the seat.
David Rossi of Boardman, a retired Houston law-enforcement officer, is expected to file as the Republican candidate for the position.
Also, Mahoning County Prosecutor Paul J. Gains and Youngstown Prosecutor Jay Macejko, his Democratic primary challenger, filed Tuesday.
Meanwhile, a number of congressional candidates have filed based on a recommendation from the Ohio secretary of state.
The recommendation to file by today came because of the uncertainty of a June 12 primary for U.S. House members and presidential candidates.
Ohio Democrats are seeking a referendum on the November 2012 ballot to overturn new U.S. House District boundaries drawn by Republicans.
Both sides tried to work out a resolution to avoid a second primary, but have failed to come to a compromise.
If a deal isn’t struck, the nominating petitions of those who have filed and will file today for U.S. House seats are null and void, according to the secretary of state’s office.
Candidates will have to refile petitions between Jan. 20 and March 14.
As of Tuesday, those filing in the new 13th District included U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Niles and Lisa Regula Meyer of Kent, both Democrats.
In the 6th District, U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, a Republican from Marietta, as well as ex-U.S. Rep. Charlie Wilson, and Cas Adulewicz of Steubenville, the latter two are Democrats, filed as of Tuesday.
In the 14th District, U.S. Rep. Steven C. LaTourette, a Republican from Bainbridge, Democrat Dale V. Blanchard of Solon, and Libertarian David Macko of Solon filed as of Tuesday.