Don’t discount importance of local primary election


After the hubbub of last fall’s presidential election, many voters in the Mahoning Valley likely view tomorrow’s primary election as uninspiring and lackluster.

Turnout predictions of 15 percent of eligible voters by directors of some of the Mahoning Valley’s boards of elections bear out that disappointing sentiment.

And generally speaking, projections from county boards of election fall short of actual turnouts. We hope, however, that the Valley electorate will recognize the importance of these contests and surprise us with much higher participation Tuesday.

After all, much is at stake at the polls for grass-roots government in cities, court districts and school districts in Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties in tomorrow’s balloting.

In Youngstown, voters may well decide the next chief executive of the Valley’s largest city. The race for the Democratic nomination for mayor pits incumbent Mayor John A. McNally against challenger Jamael Tito Brown. This race looks to be every bit as razor-thin close as it was four years ago when only 142 votes separated the two.

Interest should also be high in the Democratic primary for Youngstown Municipal Court judge between Carla Baldwin and Anthony Sertick and for Struthers Municipal Court judge among three familiar candidates to voters.

In Trumbull County, many eyes are on the hotly contested Democratic election for Niles Municipal Court judge among four competent candidates to serve the district that includes Niles, Weathersfield Township and McDonald Village.

Though there are far fewer school tax issues on the ballot than average, a hot additional emergency tax levy in Hubbard and a bond issue in Mathews have generated considerable attention and debate. Renewal tax levies loom for voters in the Poland and Bristol districts.

With so much at stake, we urge residents of the Mahoning Valley in precincts with contested elections – about 50 percent do not have any – to responsibly cast ballots in Tuesday’s primary election. As usual, polls will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

RECAP OF ENDORSEMENTS

The Vindicator’s commitment to elections is long-standing. We spend hours in endorsement meetings with candidates for office and with representatives of major ballot issues. Based on what we learn, in those interviews and elsewhere, we issue endorsements.

What follows is a summary of our recommendations for Democratic Party races and issues that we explained in greater detail in editorials in this space over the past two weeks:

YOUNGSTOWN MAYOR: Jamael Tito Brown

YOUNGSTOWN COUNCIL PRESIDENT: Mike Ray

YOUNGSTOWN MUNICIPAL COURT JUDGE: Anthony Sertick

NILES MUNICIPAL COURT JUDGE: John Gargano

WARREN AUDITOR: Vincent S. Flask

WARREN TREASURER: Tom Letson

POLAND SCHOOLS 1-mill renewal levy: Yes.

POLAND SCHOOLS 5.7-mill renewal levy: YES

BRISTOL SCHOOLS 3.5-mill renewal levy: YES

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