Council president to run for mayor

By David Skolnick


City Council President Jamael Tito Brown is the latest candidate to join the 2013 mayoral race.

Brown said Monday he was somewhat surprised by Mayor Charles Sammarone’s comments to The Vindicator on Friday that he was “reconsidering” a run after repeatedly saying he was “99-percent” sure he wouldn’t seek the position.

“If he would have indicated earlier that he was running, I would have supported him” and not sought the position, Brown said of Sammarone.

Sammarone said he’ll discuss a potential run with his family and community leaders over the holidays and make a decision shortly after Jan. 1.

Brown said he’s spent months preparing for the mayoral race and is committed to seeking the position in the Democratic primary whether or not Sammarone runs.

“I’m going to continue my efforts,” said Brown, who added that Sammarone encouraged him to run about a week ago. “I’m 110-percent committed to this race.”

Brown will have a press conference Thursday at the V2 Wine Bar Trattoria on West Federal Street to announce his candidacy.

He could file nominating petitions as early as Thursday with the Mahoning County Board of Elections.

Brown said his campaign will be based on efforts to provide “livable-wage jobs” in the city, continue Sammarone’s policies of making city workers more accountable, multi-task while being more efficient and use community-based programs and technology to reduce crime and make people safe.

If Sammarone doesn’t run, Brown said he “would love to have his support” in the mayor’s race.

“I’ve been watching him and have learned how to manage,” Brown said of Sammarone. “He’s done a great job.”

Feb. 6 is the deadline to file for the May 7 Democratic primary.

Outgoing Mahoning County Commissioner John McNally IV and Matthew Smith have filed nominating petitions for the Democratic primary.

A longtime council president, Sammarone replaced Jay Williams on Aug. 1, 2011, as mayor when the latter resigned to join the administration of President Barack Obama.

Under the city charter, council president automatically succeeds the mayor and fills out the remainder of the term if the top elected city official leaves office early.

Brown, a 3rd Ward councilman, replaced Sammarone as council president when Williams resigned.

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