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

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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.

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