Incumbent judge wins despite challenger’s raising more money

By David Skolnick

By David Skolnick


In the 7th District Court of Appeals race, challenger Mark A. Hanni raised more than $130,000 in his challenge to incumbent Judge Mary DeGenaro, who received about $50,000 in contributions.

Yet Judge DeGenaro beat Hanni by about 5.5 percentage points in the election.

Hanni received $20,145 in contributions for his failed campaign from donors between Oct. 18 and Dec. 7, according to post-general-election campaign-finance reports filed by Friday’s deadline.

Of that amount, all but $1,250 came before the Nov. 6 general election.

Also, Hanni loaned $10,000 to his campaign: $5,000 on Oct. 19 and another $5,000 on Oct. 26.

He also has $15,890 in debt owed to various media companies, restaurants and a Columbus law firm.

As of Dec. 7, Hanni had only $237 in his campaign account.

During the final weeks before the election, Judge DeGenaro raised only $550, and received a $100 contribution Nov. 10.

She didn’t lend any money to her campaign, though the judge’s campaign still owes $9,308 loaned by her husband, Steve DeGenaro, given during her first judicial campaign in 2000.

Judge DeGenaro won that 2000 race as well as re-elections in 2006 and last month.

Her campaign also owes $6,383 to the judge and her husband for money they provided this year.

The judge’s campaign started 2012 with a $28,431 surplus.

The court has jurisdiction over eight counties with the population center in Mahoning and Columbiana counties.

The incumbent state legislators from the Mahoning Valley all were easily re-elected, raising and spending more money than their challengers during the 2012 election year.

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