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McNally edges Brown by only 150 votes in Dem primary

Published: Wed, May 8, 2013 @ 12:01 a.m.


John McNally, right, celebrates his win with dad and mom, John McNally III and Jeanne McNally, at the Golden Dawn on Wick Avenue on Tuesday night. McNally won a very tight race in the Democratic primary for Youngstown mayor against Jamael Tito Brown and Matthew Smith.


Jamael Tito Brown gets a hug from a supporter after conceding the mayoral primary to John McNally IV at Our Family Restaurant on West Wood Street.




In post-election comments, it was somewhat challenging to determine who won the Democratic primary for Youngstown mayor.

In a very tight race, John A. McNally IV, a former Mahoning County commissioner and city law director, beat council President Jamael Tito Brown by only 150 votes.

McNally received 3,292 votes, 50 percent, to 3,142 votes, 48 percent, for Brown, according to final but unofficial totals from the county board of elections.

Matthew Smith received 96 votes.

There are 27 provisional ballots to be counted, but they won’t change the outcome of Tuesday’s primary.

“It was close,” McNally said. “It makes you wonder. I am surprised how close it was. I knew it would be a hard campaign.”

Despite the loss, Brown was upbeat after the election votes were counted.

“He outspent me 3-to-1, and for it to be that close, [McNally] didn’t expect that,” Brown said. “We didn’t get quite where we wanted to be, but at the end of the day, I’m satisfied.”

McNally said one key issue that made the race closer than he expected was “turnout was low.”

Overall, turnout was 16.9 percent in Mahoning County among those eligible to vote in the primary. That’s slightly up from the 16.2 percent turnout in the county in 2009, that last Democratic primary that had a Youngstown mayoral race.

The turnout in Youngstown was unclear as of Tuesday night, but the board of elections said Democratic turnout in the county was 44.9 percent. Only Democrats in Youngstown and Struthers were able to vote in this primary.

McNally said his turnout in the 4th and 5th Wards greatly helped his primary victory. The West Side wards, the 4th in particular, are predominantly populated with white residents. McNally was the lone white candidate in the mayoral primary.

“We’ve got to increase turnout in the general election,” McNally said. “We savor the victory and we’ll go on from here. The general election will be a crowded field and we’ll see how it plays out.”

In the November general election, McNally will face challenges from five independents, including DeMaine Kitchen, the mayor’s chief of staff/secretary, and former Police Chief Jimmy Hughes. That is if all of the candidates are certified by the board of elections as having enough valid signatures on their nominating petitions.

The elections board has until July 15 to certify, though its members typically do it prior to that deadline.

As of April 17, the most recent reporting date, McNally had raised $107,953 to $30,277 for Brown.

“It was a remarkable job by our committee during this race,” Brown said. “We went to the voters. We came up a little short.”

Brown said he is supporting McNally in the November general election as the latter was the winner of the Democratic primary.

As for Brown, he’ll finish his term as council president on Dec. 31.

“I don’t know what I’ll do politically in the future,” he said. “It’s too early to tell. I’ll always be involved.”

Brown had a 25-vote lead, 1.64 percentage points, among those who cast ballots early. Brown increased his lead to 7.32 percentage points after votes were counted in the 7th Ward, eight out of the 10 precincts in the 6th Ward, half of the 14 precincts in the 5th Ward, and two in the 1st Ward.

But that lead evaporated quickly when the rest of the 5th and all of the 4th Ward were counted with McNally surging to a lead of 19.52 percentage points.

McNally just held on to win by 2.29 percentage points when the entire city vote was counted.

County Democratic Party Chairman David Betras said McNally, the party’s mayoral nominee, “ran an exemplary race and his victory is well-deserved.” He also praised Brown for his campaign effort.

Also Tuesday, Susie Beiersdorfer beat Terrance Esarco 42 votes to 8 in the Green Party primary for Youngstown council president. Beiersdorfer will face Mayor Charles Sammarone, the Democratic nominee for council president, in the general election. Also, Chris Travers filed as an independent candidate for that position.


1UNCOMMONSENSE(627 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

McNally is hardly a fresh approach to Youngstown's needs. If anything he is represents more of Youngstown's past. Until the cloud that surrounds the Oakhill probe is resolved, the stench of this man being elected mayor will remain.

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2TERRAPINST(321 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

Canfcard, FLICK uses neither logic or reason when he makes statements because he is a wang. Hey Flick. Na-Na-Na-Na-Na-Na. I so love that McNally won just so you can be miserable. Are you going to apologize now to his wife and family for trying to smear his name without any proof whatsoever? Seems like most people disagree with you. Where do you get all your scoop, and why aren't you working with the FEDS on this matter? Surely you know more than they right?

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3TERRAPINST(321 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

Brown: You are right, that being said We need to support our rightfully elected candidates, that is unless you are supporting an independent. I must say though, I cannot tolerate the continued accusations against anyone without the existence of one shred of evidence, as Flick has done towards John McNally-I will, unless he apologizes or provide evidence, continue to point out his wangness.

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4DwightK(1537 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

I hope no personal loans in unmarked envelopes were distributed during this campaign. Imagine the mess that would create.

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5commyliberal(94 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

If these results holdup Brown can run as an independent. Then if he can win he will not be beholden to an party machine, just his constituents!

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6DSquared(1788 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

The elections are so crooked it's not even funny. 1 out of 5 registered voters in the state of Ohio are ineligible. 31 of 88 Ohio counties have registration "rates" of over 90%. That number is even suspicious in Chicago! In 2 Ohio counties, the number of registered voters exceeds the number of eligible voters. So, is there a chance that Mr. Brown got hosed? Highly probable! After all, Obama "received" 100% of all the votes in over 20 counties last fall, so you figure it out!

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7TERRAPINST(321 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

Mr. Wang/Flick: You don't get to have a trial when there is no proof. The dismissal of all state charges means there was not enough proof. 2 years with the Feds and nothing happening means STILL no proof. Innocent until proven guilty. Man Flick your so dumb I don't know why I even try. Again, you could care less about the community-you just want to hurt someone like the sick, weird, mean, odd, uneducated, dumb wang you are.

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