Dems nominate Flask for Warren auditor
By Ed Runyan
Vince Flask said he thinks voters believe experience matters more than the claims that his opponent in the Democratic primary for Warren auditor expressed during the campaign.
Valdeoso Patterson, who lost to Flask in Tuesday’s election with 1,034 votes to Flask’s 1,159 votes, said during the campaign that “Experience is important, but lack of education with experience is just not what the city needs.”
Flask has no college degree.
“When we are looking at professions – financial, lawyers, doctors – you could have all the experience in the world, but if you’re not up on the current activities and policies of the financial [world], that experience is almost null and void,” Patterson said.
Flask said he thinks the results of the election “shows that experience matters,” adding, “I congratulate [Patterson] on a good campaign, and I look forward to working hard toward November.”
Flask, who has served as auditor since the Trumbull County Democratic Party Central Committee picked him for the job last July, faces Republican Carlo Ciccone in November.
Flask replaced Anthony Natale Jr., who resigned from the auditor’s job last summer after pleading guilty to a federal criminal charge related to his mailing of a suspicious powder to the office of a former employer.
During the campaign, Patterson focused on his educational credentials, including his bachelor’s degree in business administration and accounting. Patterson works as accounting manager for an Akron senior-services agency.
Flask is better known than first-time candidate Patterson. Flask had served as a 5th Ward councilman 12 years before becoming auditor. He also runs three Trumbull County Liberty Tax Service offices.
Flask said he worked hard.
“I knocked on doors all over the city and some of them twice,” he said.
The race for Warren treasurer, a part-time position overseeing the Warren Income Tax Department, also featured a familiar face in former state representative Tom Letson and a newcomer, Emily Mach.
Letson won the race with 1,160 votes to Mach’s 920. The job pays $10,326 annually. Letson faces Republican Ken Perrine in November.
Letson said the victory is gratifying because “it shows that the constituents I’ve served in the past have seen fit to chose me to serve them some more. It’s gratifying that your service is appreciated.”
Letson, 62, who is also a private-practice attorney, said during the campaign he’d be a good treasurer because of his experience as state representative eight years and his time on the House Ways and Means Committee, which deals with revenue.
Mach, 25, whose husband, Eugene, is a Warren councilman, said during the campaign she would bring a “fresh pair of eyes” to the job.
She’s finishing up her master’s degree in business administration this spring. She had planned to keep her full-time job at Youngstown State University if she had been elected Warren city treasurer.