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Atty. Mark Hanni drops out of court race



Published: Sat, July 26, 2014 @ 12:00 a.m.

Staff report

YOUNGSTOWN

Atty. Mark Hanni is dropping out of the race for Mahoning County Common Pleas Court judge.

Judicial candidates aren’t permitted to involve themselves in partisan politics under the judicial code of conduct.

Hanni was nominated in the primary without opposition to run against Judge Maureen Sweeney, the Republican, in November.

Hanni said the reason he’s dropping out is because he doesn’t have time to give the race the time it deserves.

“I have too much on my plate to give 100 percent to campaigning,” he said. “My practice and my family — I have a couple of grandchildren — doesn’t allow it. Timing is everything.”

Hanni emailed a letter Friday to members of the party’s central committee, withdrawing his candidacy, saying, “If I cannot give 100 percent, then it is better for the party to replace me with a candidate who can best serve the party ticket.” The party has until Aug. 11 to submit a new name to the county elections board.

Hanni, a Democrat, said he would be contacting David Betras, the county’s Democratic Party chairman, to let him know of his decision.

Hanni drew the wrath of Betras for purportedly campaigning on behalf of someone other than Betras for chairman.

After Betras was re-elected chairman in June, he said Hanni would be denied party support during the campaign, including advertising on any party literature.

Betras, also a lawyer, said the reason Hanni was denied the support was because Hanni contacted precinct committee members on behalf of Socrates Kolitsos, who was one of two people attempting to unseat Betras.


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