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Trumbull Democrats embrace the familiar in primary races



Published: Sat, May 10, 2014 @ 12:00 a.m.

Each of the winners of local races in the Democratic primary Tuesday in Trumbull County based his campaign on a single but powerful word: experience. And the voters obviously agreed that having officeholders who know their way around government and politics is a good thing.

Thus, Michael O’Brien, former mayor of Warren, county commissioner and city councilman, won the nomination for the 64th Ohio House District; state Rep. Sean O’Brien was nominated for another term as the 63rd Ohio House District; Commissioner Frank Fuda, who has an impressive record of accomplishments, was easily nominated for another term; and, Atty. James Fredericka, whose practice is focused on probate law, was nominated for the probate judgeship that is being vacated by long-time Judge Thomas Swift.

Their margin of victories are a testament to campaigns they waged and a recognition of their records of service. That said, the losing candidates in the races deserve some recognition for the way they conducted themselves on the campaign trail and their knowledge of the issues.

It is encouraging when elections feature good quality candidates.

The Democratic nominees will face opposition in the November general election, which is not a bad thing considering that often in this predominantly Democratic region, the primary election produces the ultimate winner and officeholder.

In the commissioner’s race, Fuda, who impressed us with his hard work, especially when it comes to dealing with the long existing problem of septic systems, will be challenged by Republican Patricia H. Paridon

Rep. O’Brien, who is completing his second two-year term, will face Republican Devon A. Stanley.

Former Warren Mayor O’Brien, who retired from politics after his tenure in City Hall, will be up against a familiar political figure, Republican Randy Law, who had previously served in the Ohio House of Representatives. There is a Green candidate in the race, Elaine Mastromatteo. Nonparty candidate Eric A. Dunn will also be on the general- election ballot.

As for the probate judgeship, Fredericka, who garnered 52 percent of the vote against Atty. Patricia Leopardi-Knepp and Atty. William Flevares, is all but assured of succeeding Judge Swift.

There is no Republican candidate, nor has anyone filed to run as an independent. The only challenge could come from a write-in candidate. The filing deadline for write-ins is Aug. 25 — 72 days before the November general election.

Extensive experience

Fredericka has practiced law for 35 years and has extensive experience in the probate court. He also served as an assistant Trumbull County prosecutor.

His knowledge and experience mean that he will be able to take over from Judge Swift without disrupting the operation of the court.

The November general election is expected to attract a large number of voters locally and statewide because of the governor’s race and contests for other state administrative offices, the Ohio Supreme Court and Congress.

Republicans now occupy all the statewide offices, control the Ohio House and Senate and have all but one seat on the Supreme Court.

Democrats, whose nominee for governor, Ed FitzGerald, Cuyahoga County executive, is not as well known as Republican Gov. John Kasich, intend to make Ohio’s tepid economic recovery and job creation one of the top issues in the general election.


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