A former buildings and grounds commissioner is running for Youngstown mayor

By David Skolnick



Sean McKinney, who abruptly resigned April 14 as the city’s buildings and grounds commissioner, is running for mayor as an independent candidate.

“I believe in myself as a leader,” he said Monday. “We need great candidates to lead our city. I’ve been in public life for more than 10 years. I’ve never run for office before, but service is service.”

McKinney will launch his campaign with an event Monday at the Commerce Building, 201 E. Commerce St. During that event, McKinney said he will outline his campaign platform.

McKinney said he’s been thinking about running for mayor for several years and almost did so in 2013.

He was hired by then-Mayor Jay Williams in September 2006 as buildings and grounds commissioner and oversaw the street department and city-owned buildings.

Mayor John A. McNally, a Democrat running for re-election, told The Vindicator last week McKinney called him April 14 saying he “was going to take advantage of another opportunity, but wasn’t specific” and that day would be his last as buildings and grounds commissioner.

Monday is the filing deadline for candidates running as independents in the Nov. 7 general election. This doesn’t include nonpartisan seats such as township trustee or school board members. That filing deadline is Aug. 9.

Former 6th Ward Councilwoman Janet Tarpley also is expected to file as an independent for Youngstown mayor.

McNally is being challenged in next Tuesday’s Democratic primary by Jamael Tito Brown, director of operations at the Mahoning County Treasurer’s Office and a former city council president and 3rd Ward councilman. McNally beat Brown by 142 votes in the May 2013 Democratic primary and was elected to his first four-year term as mayor in the November general election that year.

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