Trumbull commissioner write-in candidate charges incumbent with nepotism

Staff report


Todd Johnson, 34, pastor of Second Baptist Church on Main Avenue Southwest, is using social media to provide his platform for his write-in candidacy for Trumbull County commissioner.

The Trumbull County Board of Elections has acknowledged his candidacy, saying the only requirement he had to meet was to be a registered voter and to pay an $80 filing fee.

Alan Shaker, deputy board of elections director, said Johnson met those two requirements and is eligible to receive write-in votes. His name won’t appear on the ballot, but voters can write in his name on a paper ballot or type it in on a computerized voting machine.

Johnson voted Democrat in the last four primaries in which he voted, Shaker said. Johnson worked nearly 10 years in Warren as a caseworker for the Ohio Office of Workforce Development, a job he left early this month to run for commissioner.

Johnson, of Williamsburg Street Northwest, is running for the seat now held by longtime commissioner Dan Polivka, who is also Trumbull County Democratic Party chairman. Mary Williams of Cortland, a member of the Lakeview Board of Education and the Republican nominee for Polivka’s commissioners seat, also will be on the ballot.

Johnson’s platform mentions Polivka prominently.

“Trumbull County has been plagued by nepotism and favoritism under Mr. Polivka’s leadership,” Johnson’s post says. Johnson said he will use his experience in Workforce Development to “formulate a standardized and modernized job posting and application process.”

Polivka, who has been commissioner since 2004, said by telephone of Johnson’s allegation of “nepotism and favoritism”: “In the county, I have zero family on the payroll, and I stand on my record, and my record is to get the most qualified and best people in the position.”

Read the full story Monday in The Vindicator and on

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