2 to challenge Dem chairman Betras; GOP leader Munroe runs unopposed

By David Skolnick



Mahoning County Democratic Party Chairman David Betras has two opponents challenging him for his spot, while his Republican counterpart, Mark Munroe, is running unopposed.

Precinct committee members of both the county Democrats and Republicans are meeting Saturday to elect their party officials.

It will be easy for Republicans.

Munroe is running unopposed for his second four-year term as chairman. There are only two other positions up for election, and both have only a single candidate seeking the posts. Tracey Winbush is running to replace Ed Crepage as the party’s vice chairman. Crepage isn’t seeking re-election. Also, Donna Bricker is running for her second four-year term as party chairwoman.

The party is meeting at 9 a.m. Saturday at its headquarters, 621 Boardman-Canfield Road in Boardman.

County Democratic precinct committee members will meet at St. Luke Parish, 5235 South Ave. in Boardman, with a 10 a.m. breakfast followed by speeches and votes around 11.

Betras is running for his second four-year term as chairman.

Challenging Betras are Socrates Kolitsos, a former Youngstown school board member, and Richard Berger, hired as a part-timer in 2002 by James A. Traficant Jr. shortly before the expelled congressman was sentenced to seven years in federal prison for political corruption. Berger self-published a book claiming Traficant was wrongly convicted on 10 felony counts.

Kenneth Carano, the party’s executive vice chairman, is being challenged by David L. Engler, who lost the Democratic primary last month for a seat on the 7th District Court of Appeals, and Ronald Massullo, who served as a regional liaison for former Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner.

Jaladah Aslam isn’t seeking re-election as the party’s vice chairwoman of labor relations. Running unopposed to replace her is Joseph Halas, the Painters and Allied Trades union’s local business representative.

Also, Sylvester D. Patton Jr. isn’t running to retain his post as vice chairman of minority affairs. Seeking to replace him are Jamael Tito Brown, a former Youngstown council president who lost the 2013 city mayoral primary, and Cynthia McWilson, who finished last among four candidates last month in the Democratic primary for the 58th Ohio House District seat.

Richard Clautti, the party’s treasurer, is being challenged by Wendy Olson.

Also, John Vivo, the party’s secretary, is being challenged by Joyce Kale-Pesta, county board of elections director.

All positions have four-year terms.

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