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McNally won by double digits, but lost majority of Youngstown’s wards

Published: Sun, November 10, 2013 @ 12:09 a.m.

Election results break down largely along racial lines, analysis shows


The Vindicator ( Youngstown)

ROBERT K. YOSAY | THE VINDICATOR.. John McNally thanks his supporters after McNally won the Mayors race in Youngstown at Sts. Peter and Paul Ukrainian Church, on Belle Vista Ave., Youngstown...-30-....

By David Skolnick



Though Democrat John McNally IV won the Youngstown mayoral race by 11.5 percentage points, he won only three of the city’s seven wards.

McNally also had a one-precinct victory over DeMaine Kitchen, an independent candidate. McNally won 39 precincts to 38 for Kitchen.

Based on raw numbers of voters in the city’s 77 precincts provided by the Mahoning County Board of Elections, an analysis by The Vindicator shows that for the most part, the longstanding pattern in Youngstown of white voters largely voting for white candidates and black voters largely voting for black candidates occurred again in this mayoral election.

“It’s the way things have unfortunately been and still are,” McNally said.

Because city council hasn’t redistricted the seven wards in 30 years, the population of each of the seven wards ranges from 7,227 in the South Side’s 6th Ward to 12,130 in the West Side’s 4th Ward, using 2010 U.S. Census numbers.

McNally, who is white, lost a majority of the wards, but he was a big winner in the three most populated: the 4th on the West Side; the 5th Ward on the southwest side, including Cornersburg; and the 7th in the eastern portion of the South Side.

The 4th and 7th are predominately populated by white people while the 5th has a white majority.

“I wanted to improve in the 4th, 5th and 7th to get more people to vote from my base,” McNally said. “The goal was to focus on places we did well in the primary, and those were the predominately white wards. It’s a realistic political approach to not ignore [the predominately black wards], but we were not going to spend as much time [campaigning] in the wards where we wouldn’t do well.”

The 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 6th Wards are predominately populated by black people with Kitchen, who is black, easily winning in those wards. Kitchen won in 31 of the 37 precincts in those wards.

McNally lost all 10 precincts in the 3rd Ward during his Democratic primary victory — in which he beat city Council President Jamael Tito Brown, who is black and lives in the 3rd Ward, by only 142 votes. In last week’s general he won two precincts in the 3rd.

McNally said he was disappointed with how he performed in the primary in the 3rd Ward, which as recent as the 2005 election was a mixed ward that leaned black, in the primary.

In May, Brown received 68.9 percent of the vote in the 3rd compared with 29.9 percent for McNally.

In the general election, McNally increased his support in the 3rd to 39.3 percent.

“I thought [the 3rd Ward] was where we didn’t do as well in the primary and could have done better,” he said. “I thought we could do better there, and we did.”

There were six mayoral candidates with McNally capturing 54.5 percent of the vote to 43 percent for Kitchen. The four other candidates combined for 2.5 percent of the vote.

In Youngstown, 10,651 of the city’s 42,864 registered voters cast ballots in the mayoral election. That’s 24.8 percent turnout. The county’s voter turnout was 29.3 percent with a ballot largely featuring races for township trustees and seats on school boards.

“I don’t know what else to do to get people to vote,” McNally said. “We did door-to-door [campaigning], mailers, phone calls and follow-up calls, increased our TV and radio presence.”

In the largely black 1st Ward, which includes all of downtown and portions of the East and South Sides, Kitchen received 70.5 percent of the vote compared with 26.7 percent for McNally. McNally also had 26.7 percent of the ward’s vote in the primary. As he did in the primary, McNally won one of the ward’s seven precincts, 1E.

Of the ward’s 4,467 registered voters, only 869 voted, making for a turnout of 19.5 percent.

In the predominately black 2nd Ward on the East Side, where Kitchen lives and previously served as its councilman, he won all 10 precincts and 76.8 percent of the vote compared with 22 percent for McNally.

Of the 5,839 registered voters in the 2nd, 1,364 voted. Turnout was 23.4 percent there.

In the 3rd Ward on the North Side, Kitchen won eight of its 10 precincts and 57.6 percent of the vote. McNally’s decision to not give up on the 3rd helped him win the two other precincts — he was swept by Brown in the Democratic primary in the 3rd — and increase his voting percentage from 29.9 percent in the primary to 39.3 percent in the general election.

The ward has 5,821 registered voters with 1,508 casting ballots. Turnout was 25.9 percent.

The 4th has traditionally been the strongest ward for white candidates, and it was again in this election.

McNally received 81.3 percent of the vote in the 4th, the city’s most populated ward, winning all 13 precincts. Kitchen received 15.4 percent of the vote.

McNally got 1,647 votes to 311 for Kitchen, a margin of victory of 1,336 votes. McNally won the citywide race by 1,221 votes.

Overall, 2,025 of the ward’s 7,677 voters cast ballots in the mayor’s race, making turnout 26.4 percent.

The 5th, where McNally resides, has 14 precincts with seven on the West Side and predominately white, and seven on the South Side and predominately black. The ward is divided by Mill Creek MetroParks, and while it has a growing black population, it still has a white majority.

McNally and Kitchen split the 14 precincts along racial lines with the mayor-elect receiving 63.8 percent of the vote, up from 59.9 percent in the primary, and Kitchen getting 34.3 percent.

Of the 7,399 registered voters in the 5th, 2,475 voted. The 33.5 percent turnout in the 5th was the most of any ward in this election.

The 6th Ward on the South Side had the least amount of voters, 863, and the lowest turnout, 18.6 percent, as only 863 of its 4,645 registered voters cast ballots in this race.

As he did in the primary, McNally won three of the 10 precincts in the 6th Ward.

Kitchen received 60.6 percent of the vote compared with 36.6 percent for McNally. But in raw numbers, Kitchen had 523 votes to 316 for McNally in the 6th.

McNally said he wanted to do better in the 7th Ward than he did in the primary. He succeeded, getting 73.5 percent of the vote compared with 23.9 percent for Kitchen. In the primary, McNally received 66.9 percent of the ward’s votes.

McNally had 1,137 votes to 370 for Kitchen in the 7th, which, like the 4th Ward, was a big win for the mayor-elect.

There are 7,016 registered voters in the 7th, and 1,546 voted in the mayor’s race, resulting in a turnout rate of 22 percent.


1bmanresident(607 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

Vindy is clearly claiming that race was everything in this election and doesn't give McNally the credit he deserves for being the least incompetent candidate for mayor.

Come on now, he won because he was white? According to this article that is true.

How about the sexual harassment allegations that Mr. Kitchen is involved in? Well, at least he now has more time to rub that bulge in his pants on more city workers.

Now we have a Cafaro Puppet running the city. This should be interesting...

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2author50(1121 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

Should be interesting to see who the Mayor elect brings into his administration.

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3dmacker(536 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

So what's the big news...
In the Presidential election Blacks voted over 97% for the black candidate.

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4kensgirl(1061 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

Numbers can lie but these numbers tell the truth. It is what it is. Unfortunately race will always be an issue.

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5republicanRick(1735 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

Blacks overwhelmingly vote for blacks. Might as well not try to appease this voting group because they are loyal to race, not results.

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6southsidedave(5199 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

The better question is, now that McNally won, how does he begin to address the problems in the Valley?

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7YtownParent(1068 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago


Now that McNally won he doesn't have to address the problems in the Valley, and he won't until the next election.

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8HSG(186 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

a fascinating collection of statistical irrelevancies. Unless one counts the Electoral College, the breakout of votes by precinct, ward, etc., means nothing.

Larger questions include:
-why would anyone want to be mayor of Youngstown? Other than as a stepping stone to another political position, the job itself seems impossible. The current mayor wants out of the job as fast as possible.
-the writer seems mystified by low voter turnout. Do city residents care who wins? How does the result of the election make a direct impact on their lives, whether the winner is white or black?

-Other than the 'resurgent' downtown, what neighborhood is actually thriving, or improving?
The most important thing about the mayor's office at the moment seems to be to manage the funds necessary to tear down blighted buildings, or to make sure that 'employees' do not mishandle city cell phones.

Like much of Ohio, the city of Youngstown is stuck in an over-glamorized and hysterically romanticized past from which escape seems all but impossible.

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9city_resident(528 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

"Other than the 'resurgent' downtown, what neighborhood is actually thriving, or improving?
The most important thing about the mayor's office at the moment seems to be to manage the funds necessary to tear down blighted buildings"

The Idora Neighborhood has seen significant improvement over the last few years. The Wick Park Neighborhood is also seeing improvement. There are probably others, but I'm unaware of them.

IMHO, some of these improvements are happening despite the city's focus on blight removal. If the city actually invested in some of its neighborhoods, instead of just tearing them down, we would see even more improvement.

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10handymandave(578 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

I predict McNaLly is going to be a huge disappointment as the Mayor. He obviously has higher aspirations for public office which is why he wanted this position. He was the best of the worse and that's the best that can be said.

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112muchtax(897 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

I voted for McNally because he was the best of the 3, with him being tied to cafaro I almost had to chew my arm off first. It had nothing to do with race since I voted for Obama. I may of voted for a used car salesman, lawyer or garbage man if they would of run. Pretty sad the choice we had, do not know McNally and he may be a good guy, but once he was tied to Cafaro that turned me off completely, this family has been tied to more corruption than any other family in town!

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