Three Democrats are victorious in Trumbull seats in House and Senate

By Ed Runyan


For Democrats Sean O’Brien and Glenn Holmes, Tuesday’s election allowed them a promotion to a higher elected office, with O’Brien being elected to fill Capri Cafaro’s 32nd District seat in the Ohio Senate, and Holmes filling O’Brien’s current seat as state representative for the 63rd District.

“I think it’s going to be a continuation of what we’ve started,” said O’Brien, a former assistant Trumbull County prosecutor who has served in the Statehouse since 2010.

He said he will work on the same issues as before — economic development; roads, bridges and sewers; workforce development; and opiate addiction.

For Holmes, mayor of McDonald, it means “continuing to serve.” He said it means leaving his “little cocoon” in McDonald. “I love my little cocoon. I have some separation anxiety as I’m leaving my little cocoon. But I’m looking forward to the opportunity,” he said.

All three Democrats running for Trumbull County seats in the Ohio House and Senate won Tuesday in complete but unofficial results.

Sean O’Brien’s race against Republican Robert Allen in the Senate, Holmes’ race against Atty. Devon Stanley in the House and incumbent Michael O’Brien’s race for the 64th District in the Ohio House were all competitive with each winner taking about 64 percent of the vote.

Michael O’Brien, former Warren mayor, defeated Republican Farmington Township Trustee Martha Yoder. The district includes Warren, Howland and most of the western and northern parts of Trumbull County.

Michael O’Brien said he will be working toward more equitable funding for schools during his next two-year term.

He also looks forward to “meeting with legislators for more comprehensive distribution of state Local Government Fund dollars geared toward safety forces,” he said at Enzo’s restaurant Tuesday night.

Yoder was critical of O’Brien’s 30 years in local government, which she said has “produced a status quo of ineptitude.”

O’Brien responded to the criticism by saying he’s proud of his time as Warren mayor and as county commissioner, with Warren surviving the Great Recession while he was mayor.

While he was county commissioner, the county courthouse underwent a $10.4 million renovation and the county built a new jail, O’Brien added.

Holmes is best known as McDonald’s mayor, but he is also a substation inspector for Ohio Edison and is involved in countless other activities, such chairman of the Mahoning River Corridor’s Association and chairman of the county’s public transportation board, Trumbull Transit.

The 63rd District Holmes will serve covers the eastern and southern parts of the county, including Niles, Girard, Hubbard, Newton Falls and Cortland.

Sean O’Brien has been actively involved in the state’s response to the influx of gas and oil drilling in the Mahoning Valley and the fallout caused by an energy-related injection well that leaked into streams and wetlands in March of 2014.

His opponent, Robert Allen, a security officer the Geauga County campus of Kent State University, was running for office for the first time.

The district encompasses Trumbull and Ashtabula counties and a small part of Geauga County.

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