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Three independent candidates filed for Youngstown mayor

By David Skolnick

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

By David Skolnick


The winner of today’s Democratic primary for Youngstown mayor has three independent candidates waiting to challenge him during the Nov. 7 general election.

Filing on Monday’s deadline were Sean McKinney, the city’s former buildings and grounds commissioner, and Cecil Monroe, who has run for city elected office a number of times, most recently as a write-in candidate in 2013 for mayor. He received three votes in that election.

Also, Janet Tarpley, a former 6th Ward councilwoman, turned in nominating petitions last Thursday as an independent candidate for mayor.

Today’s Democratic primary for mayor pits incumbent John A. McNally against challenger Jamael Tito Brown. The two faced each other in the 2013 primary with McNally winning by 142 votes.

“I’m determined to make a difference,” McKinney said of his candidacy. “You have my word I will bring the highest level of honesty and integrity to the city of Youngstown.”

McKinney spent 10 years as buildings and grounds commissioner, resigning April 14 to run for mayor.

No one filed by Monday’s deadline for city council president so the winner of today’s four-man primary will go unchallenged in the general election. That is unless someone files as a write-in candidate by the Aug. 28 deadline.

Also in Youngstown, Dario Hunter, a school board member, filed to run as an independent for clerk of courts, and Mark Anthony Hanni turned in nominating petitions for municipal court judge.

Boards of elections must certify each independent candidate has enough valid signatures to appear on the general-election ballot.

Hunter is challenging Clerk Sarah Brown-Clark, while Hanni would face the winner of today’s Democratic primary for judge between Anthony Sertick and Carla Baldwin. The judicial seat is open because incumbent Robert Millich cannot seek re-election under the state’s age-limit law for judges.

Hanni said he was going to run in the Democratic primary, but couldn’t because of a medical issue with his back that would have limited his ability to campaign.

“It would be a nice way to end my career to be a judge for two [six-year] terms,” Hanni said.

Hunter said he’s running because the clerk of courts “office needs good governance, accountability and strong public service.”

If he’s elected, Hunter said he would remain on the school board.

Hunter was elected in 2015 to the school board as a write-in candidate. Earlier that year, he lost the Democratic primary for 6th Ward council.