Lepore-Hagan and Boccieri coast to easy victories


By Denise Dick

denise_dick@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

State Reps. Michele Lepore-Hagan and John Boccieri easily fended off challenges to secure re-election to their respective seats.

Hagan of Youngstown, D-58th, garnered 60 percent, defeating Corrine Sanderson, a Republican, with 23 percent and Andrea Mahone, an independent, with 18 percent, unofficial vote totals show.

“I’m focusing on making sure our public schools are stable,” Lepore-Hagan said.

She also wants to bring local government funds back to the community.

Sanderson was elected in November 2015 to the city school board and Mahone is a former city school board member who didn’t seek a second term.

Boccieri of Poland, D-59th, got 58 percent, beating Don Manning, a Republican, with 42 percent.

“I want to fight against the privatization of our public schools,” Lepore-Hagan said.

It’s important that Ohioans retain collective bargaining rights, she said.

“Most importantly, I really want to focus on making sure every kid has a fair and equitable education,” Lepore-Hagan said.

She said she plans to reintroduce a bill she and state Sen. Joe Schiavoni of Boardman, D-33rd, crafted to amend the Youngstown Plan. That’s the legislation approved in summer 2015 by both houses of the state Legislature, creating a new academic distress commission. That commission appointed Krish Mohip last June as the city school district’s first chief executive officer.

The amended plan calls for a seven, rather than five-member academic distress commission, establishing community learning centers and giving the elected city school board a voice.

Boccieri, a former U.S. Congressman, was appointed last year to the unexpired term of Ron Gerberry. Gerberry, who previously served as Mahoning County recorder, resigned as state representative after pleading guilty and being convicted last August of a misdemeanor related to campaign-finance irregularities.

“I think it’s important that we work with the governor to put the state on a good track,” Boccieri said. “We have a lot of work to do to ensure Ohio is competitive and to make Ohio an attractive place to do business.”

Boccieri also wants to hold charter schools accountable. About $1 billion in state dollars went to for-profit charter schools this year.

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