Two lawyers are running in the May Democratic primary to become Mahoning County’s Probate Court judge.


Age: 45

Residence: Poland

Education: Villa Maria High School; bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh Honor’s College; law degree from Duquesne University; graduate school at Youngstown State University.

Qualifications: Private law practice concerning estates, guardianships, adoptions, disability law, mental-health advocacy, family law and educational plans for special-needs children.

Reason for seeking office: Her legal experience and passion for helping families in time of need.

Top priority if elected: Stabilizing the probate court and restoring public trust in it, making it more user-friendly and tailoring decisions concerning wards of the court to their individual needs.

Employment: Maruca Law Firm LLC and Letson & Swader Law Firm, and part-time YSU freshman writing instructor.

Family: Husband, Atty. Christopher Maruca; children, James and Christina.

Office previously sought: Mahoning County probate judge, 2008.

Relatives holding public office: Cousin: Judge Patrick P. Cunning of Campbell Municipal Court.

Christopher Sammarone

Age: 41

Residence: Canfield

Education: Chaney High School, bachelor’s degree from YSU; law degree from Cleveland Marshall College of Law.

Qualifications: Practicing lawyer since 1999 with extensive experience in probate court, including probating estates and resolving trust issues and representing the Mahoning County Board of Developmental Disabilities and its clients.

Reason for seeking office: To ensure that Mahoning County’s next probate judge has substantial law-practice experience in that court.

Top priority if elected: To instill into the probate court the knowledge, experience and integrity to run a fair, competent and respected court.

Employment: Self-employed lawyer and Mahoning County Board of Developmental Disabilities counsel.

Family: Wife, Krista; children, Serena, Chris, Summer, Zack and Maxx.

Office previously sought: 7th District Court of Appeals judge, 2006.

Relatives holding public office: Father, Charles Sammarone, is Youngstown City Council president and former Youngstown mayor.

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