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Dem officials back Betras for party chair

Published: Fri, January 17, 2014 @ 12:03 a.m.

By David Skolnick



Numerous Mahoning County elected officials are urging members of the county Democratic Party’s central and executive committees to re-elect David Betras as their chairman.

“We want to make it clear that our confidence in and support for David isn’t based on personal loyalty or friendship,” the letter sent Thursday to members of the committees reads. “It is based solely on our respect and appreciation for all he has achieved during his tenure as our chair. His decision to reinstitute primary endorsements via an open, fair and impartial process has revitalized and reinvigorated the” party.

Among those signing the letter are every elected county Democratic officeholder, U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Howland, the county’s three state legislators, Youngstown Mayor John A. McNally, Youngstown Clerk of Courts Sarah Brown-Clark, ex-Youngstown Council President Jamael Tito Brown and Joyce Kale-Pesta, the area’s state central committeewoman and county board of elections director.

“Yes, some of us have had very public disagreements with him over the years, but at the end of the day, we recognize that although he is sometimes brash, he is forthright, honest and acts with the utmost integrity,” the letter reads. “As officeholders and citizens, we cannot ask for more.”

Betras said he was “very grateful for their vote of confidence. I’m quite touched to get everyone to sign this. I’m very thankful for this.”

The party will have a reorganizational meeting after the May primary to elect the chairman and other leadership positions. Betras said he doesn’t expect opposition.

Betras was elected April 27, 2009, as chairman to fill the unexpired term of Lisa Antonini. He was elected to a full four-year term June 2, 2010.


1author50(1121 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

"What's not to like?"

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2Minority_Voter(18 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

My Brothers and Sisters, the devil dog Betras is behind our injustices.

As long as we sit in the corner and do what we’re told he allows us to participate, but when we want more the clock turns back 50 years.

Let’s remember how the devil dog Betras threw us off the Executive Committee when we didn't go along with his failed candidate McMayor who could be indicted at any time.

Does anyone remember Betras throwing the unions off the Executive Committee when they endorsed Judge Mary DeGenaro who is a Republican? Why was that different from what happened to us? Betras was and is willing to bully us but not the unions.

I say to all of my brothers and sisters we cannot allow devil dog Betras and his racist practices to continue to be our chairman. Betras must go.

God bless and the fight continues!

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3questionreality(728 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

"..and Joyce Kale-Pesta, the area’s state central committeewoman and county board of elections director."

Should anyone at the Board of Elections be signing such a letter?

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4kurtw(1755 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

So they want Betras back again, what a surprise? Why not- they have the best, anybody else would be a gross disappointment! They deserve each other.

The whole thing- the way all the office holders chimed in with "unilateral support" remind me of the kind of ritualistic ass kissing prevalent in Communist Countries: Chairman Mao, Chairman Brezhnev, Chairman Tito, Chairman Betras!

Yugh, Makes me want to throw up! (and, incidentally, whenever I travel anywhere and they want to know where I'm from, I always say- North-Eastern Ohio. Been doing that since the Traficant Indictment gave us such wonderful National Exposure!)

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5kurtw(1755 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

Oh, by the way, in your photo, the "Chairman" looks a little peaked- strained- I advise a little more work out at the Y- on the Stair Machine (also, the haircut and wardrobe could use a little help. Just a thought.)

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6HenryTheBear(23 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

how petty of you to make this a race issue.

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