3 Mahoning Dems to be removed from leadership for backing independent


YOUNGSTOWN

Three Youngstown council members who back Sean McKinney, an independent mayoral candidate, will be removed early next week from Mahoning County Democratic Party’s executive committee because they don’t support Jamael Tito Brown, the party’s nominee.

“If you’re in leadership and actively support another candidate, you can’t hold your leadership position in the party,” said David Betras, party chairman.

Youngstown council members Julius Oliver, D-1st, Lauren McNally, D-5th, and Basia Adamczak, D-7th, are supporting McKinney, the city’s former buildings and grounds commissioner, in his independent bid for mayor.

The three council members marched with McKinney in the Memorial Day parade in Boardman.

Betras appointed the city council members to the party’s executive committee. Executive committee members get to vote on party endorsements along with those on the central committee.

“Betras called [Wednesday] and wanted me to back off from what I believe to back the party’s candidate,” Oliver said. “If I don’t believe in a certain candidate, I’m not going to back” him.

Oliver said the county party is weak as shown by its endorsed candidates losing in last month’s primary for mayor, council president and municipal court judge in Youngstown.

“The party is in bad condition, and I’m not going to back down from my support,” Oliver said. “There are young Democrats trying to make a difference and [Betras] is trying to quiet us.”

But the councilman said he doesn’t want to resign.

“I’m not trying to quiet anyone, but when you accept a leadership position in the party, there are certain expectations,” Betras said.

Read more about the situation in Friday's Vindicator or on Vindy.com.

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