The filing deadline for candidates and issues to get on the May 7 primary ballot is less than a week away.
Even with numerous seats up for grabs in the primary, very few candidates — including incumbents — have filed to run.
“We have more issues than candidates,” joked Kelly Pallante, director of the Trumbull County Board of Elections.
All kidding aside, her statement isn’t much of a joke.
As of Wednesday, only 11 candidates had filed to run in the Democratic primary — and none in the Republican primary — in Trumbull County compared to six issues [two of which are Jackson-Milton school levies that take in two precincts in Newton Township].
In the cities of Warren, Niles, Girard and the villages of Hubbard and McDonald, the primary includes all council seats [seven in each except Warren with 10], council president and treasurer.
Among those 39 positions, only seven have filed nominating petitions.
Election officials expect a rush of candidates early next week. The primary filing deadline is Wednesday.
In Mahoning County, five Democratic candidates have filed, including three for Youngstown mayor — John McNally IV, Jamael Tito Brown and Matthew Smith.
Mayor Charles Sammarone is the lone candidate so far for Youngstown council president.
In Struthers, there are seven council seats as well as council president and treasurer on the primary ballot.
As of Wednesday, longtime incumbent Councilman-at-Large Ronald Mathews is the only candidate to file nomin- ating petitions for the Democratic primary.
Democrats have dominated politics in Youngstown and Struthers for decades though a few independents have won.
The most notable is Jay Williams, elected Youngstown mayor in 2005 as an independent.
Then there are the villages of Poland, Lordstown and Newton Falls that could have political partisan races, but over the years, most candidates there file as independents.
The deadline to file for the November general election as an independent for seats that could be on the primary ballot is May 6, the day before the primary.
This does not include nonpartisan races such as township trustee and school- board members.
The deadline to file for those November general election races is Aug. 7.