Close to $250,000 was raised in a Mahoning County judicial race

By David Skolnick


Outgoing Mahoning County Common Pleas Court Judge Shirley J. Christian raised $136,521 in a failed attempt to get elected to a full six-year term on the bench.

She received only 38.4 percent of the vote for her effort, which included $60,000 in loans she and her husband, Robert, pumped into her campaign.

In comparison, Anthony M. D’Apolito, who won with 61.6 percent of the vote, raised $113,363 for his successful election, including $12,170 in loans from himself.

The common pleas court race was the most expensive in Mahoning County with $249,884 raised between the two candidates.

Of the amount Judge Christian raised, 44 percent of it came from loans she and her husband gave her campaign. D’Apolito’s loans equaled 11 percent of the money his campaign raised for his election.

Even though the results don’t show the race between the two was much of a competition, it was the tightest countywide election in Mahoning.

The final financial totals for the race come as candidates filed post-general-election campaign finance reports for activity between Oct. 20 and Dec. 9.

Little money actually was spent and raised during those dates among those who sought office during the Nov. 8 general election.

Judicial candidates do not run with party affiliations during the general election in Ohio. But Judge Christian, of New Springfield, was the Republican nominee, while D’Apolito, of Poland, was backed by the Democratic Party.

Judge Christian’s term expires Dec. 31.

She was appointed Aug. 27, 2014, by Gov. John Kasich, a Republican, to succeed Judge James C. Evans on Oct. 2 that year, the day after he retired.

D’Apolito, county juvenile court administrator, wanted to run for Judge Evans’ seat, but the judge, who has since died, delayed his retirement to allow Kasich to make an appointment rather than have his spot decided by voters in the November 2014 general election.

In Trumbull County, Dan Polivka, a longtime Trumbull County commissioner who was re-elected to another term, was the leading spender in the most recent campaign finance report with $38,679 spent.

Polivka, of Warren, who also is Trumbull County Democratic Party chairman, was challenged by Republican Mary Williams of Cortland, who spent $5,166. Write-in Todd Johnson of Warren spent $2,623.

Polivka defeated Williams 50.5 percent to 43.7 percent. Johnson received 5.6 percent.

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