Thursday, March 16, 2017
By David Skolnick
Cynthia L. McWilson withdrew from the Youngstown council president’s Democratic primary, leaving four candidates vying for the seat.
McWilson, who quit the race Wednesday, said, “When I first filed, I thought I would have more time to campaign. Due to family obligations and not having the needed time for the campaign, I decided to withdraw from the race.”
McWilson has unsuccessfully run three times for the 5th Ward council seat and once for state representative.
The remaining candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for council president in the May 2 primary are:
Councilman Mike Ray, D-4th, who’s served since December 2011 and cannot run for another term for his ward seat when his current one expires at the end of 2019. Ray received the endorsement of the county Democratic Party for the presidency.
DeMaine Kitchen, a former 2nd Ward councilman and ex-chief of staff to the mayor. Kitchen lost the November 2013 mayoral election as an independent candidate.
John R. Swierz, a former council president and 7th Ward councilman. He couldn’t run for re-election in 2015 to his ward seat because of the city’s term-limits law. Swierz has unsuccessfully run for mayor and council president.
Young Tensley, a political newcomer.
McWilson said she’s throwing her support behind Kitchen.
“DeMaine is the best person for the job,” she said. “He has the experience. He’s worked in the mayor’s office. He knows the ins and out of the community.”
The seat is open because Charles Sammarone, the current council president, is retiring rather than run for another four-year term.
There are no Republican candidates for council president.
May 1, the day before the Democratic primary, is the filing deadline for independent candidates who want to seek the position in the November general election.