Today last day to file petitions for May 2 primary

By David Skolnick


Some candidates will wait until today, the last day to file nominating petitions for the May 2 primary, but a number of races already are taking shape.

Three candidates are in the Democratic primary for the open Youngstown council president’s race as of the end of business Tuesday to replace the retiring Charles Sammarone for the position.

There could be another candidate or two filing today.

The candidates who’ve turned in petitions are Councilman Mike Ray, D-4th, who’s served since December 2011 and is term-limited in 2019; John R. Swierz, a former council president and 7th Ward councilman who was term-limited in 2015 and has lost races for mayor and council president; and Cynthia L. McWilson, who’s unsuccessfully run three times for 5th Ward council and state representative once.

Two open municipal court seats will see Democratic primaries, too.

Youngstown Judge Robert Milich and Struthers Judge James R. Lanzo cannot run this year because of the state’s age limit on judges.

In Youngstown, the two early candidates are the only ones to file as of Tuesday.

They are Anthony Sertick, magistrate for the past 15 years and a former city assistant law director and assistant prosecutor, and Carla Baldwin, a Mahoning County juvenile court magistrate since Jan. 5 who previously served as a county prosecutor. Both are Democrats.

The field is wide open in Struthers.

James E. Lanzo of New Springfield has filed to succeed his father. Also, Struthers Law Director Dominic R. Leone III and Poland attorney Damian P. DeGenova also have turned in nominating petitions for the six-year seat.

Despite his convictions last year of four misdemeanors related to his time as a Mahoning County commissioner, Youngstown Mayor John A. McNally has only one challenger as of Tuesday – Jamael Tito Brown, a former council president who lost the Democratic mayoral primary to McNally four years ago by only 142 votes.

County Democratic central and executive committee members from Youngstown and Struthers will meet at 11 a.m. Feb. 18 at the Newport library branch, 3730 Market St., Youngstown, to hear from those seeking the party’s endorsement and then vote.

May 1, the day before the primary, is the deadline for candidates to file for these seats as independents.

There’s only two tax issues on the ballot in the county as of Tuesday.

Both are five-year renewal levies for the Poland school district: a 1-mill levy to raise $380,839 annually and a 5.7-mill levy to raise $2,181,867 a year.

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