Mike O’Brien gets primary nod for 64th House
By Ed Runyan
Michael O’Brien, 58, who has made a career out of politics, may be starting a new phase of that career after winning the Democratic nomination Tuesday to serve in the Ohio Statehouse representing the 64th District.
Incumbent state Rep. Sean O’Brien won the Democratic nomination for the 63rd Ohio House District.
Michael O’Brien says his new phase may not be that much different from the 30 years he spent in local government.
“I could hit the ground running. I don’t need an orientation,” he said of representing Warren, Howland, Champion and many smaller communities, much as he did as a Trumbull County commissioner and Warren mayor and councilman.
O’Brien was Warren mayor from 2005 to 2012, Trumbull County commissioner 1994 to 2004 and Warren councilman 1983 to 1993.
On Tuesday, he outpolled Warren businessman Ken MacPherson, 47, and Warren educator Eugene Mach II, 25. O’Brien got about 60 percent of the votes to MacPherson’s 35 percent and Mach’s 5 percent.
Mach, coordinator for Upward Bound at Youngstown State University, said he ran for state representative to bring more attention to educational issues.
O’Brien said Tuesday he will be focused on providing students opportunities for training for careers that don’t require a four-year college education if he gets elected in November. He’ll face Republican Randy Law of Warren and Green Party candidate Elaine R. Mastromatteo of Bristolville in November. Non-party candidate Eric A. Dunn of Southington will also be on the ballot.
During the campaign, MacPherson stressed his ability to find answers to complex problems and “bring respect back to the area in terms of legislators.”
Atty. Thomas Letson, current state representative, was unable to run for re-election because of Ohio’s term-limits law. Letson was unopposed in his bid to be the Democratic nominee for Ohio Supreme Court justice.
Sean O’Brien, 45, of Bazetta Township, an attorney who formerly served as an asssistant Trumbull County prosecutor, earned the Democratic nomination to run in November against Republican Devon A. Stanley of Girard for 63rd District state representative. The district includes Niles, Liberty Township, Girard and other smaller areas of Trumbull County.
Sean O’Brien, who is not related to Michael O’Brien, defeated educator Marianne James, 65, of Niles, a first-time candidate about 69 percent to about 31 percent.
Sean O’Brien plans to continue working toward a solution to the problem faced by Trumbull County residents with septic systems who are forced to demolish them and tie into sewer lines when one comes close to their home.
James said the Common Core curriculum the state has endorsed for public schools is making Ohio education worse instead of better.