A judicial race is the most expensive primary matchup in Mahoning County

By David Skolnick



About $125,000 has been raised combined by the two Democratic candidates running for an open seat on the Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.

Campaign finance reports had to be filed by Thursday with county boards of elections for money raised and spent between Jan. 1 and April 18 for what is called the “pre-primary” reporting period. The primary is May 8 though early voting is ongoing.

The judicial Democratic primary pits Dan Dascenzo, a court magistrate, against Anthony Donofrio, Youngstown’s deputy law director.

It is the most expensive race in Mahoning County.

Dascenzo raised the most money, $76,045, between the two during the pre-primary period. He also loaned $2,916 to his campaign during this period. In November 2017, Dascenzo loaned $8,030 to his campaign.

He spent $57,162 between Jan. 1 and April 18.

In comparison, Donofrio raised $44,575 between Jan. 1 and April 18 and spent $38,788.

Donofrio hasn’t loaned his campaign any money, but has incurred $21,850 in debt.

The Mahoning County Democratic Party gave a dual endorsement to the candidates running in this primary.

No Republican filed in this race. The deadline for independent candidates to file is May 7, the day before the primary.

The seat is now occupied by Judge Lou D’Apolito, who couldn’t run this year for re-election because of the state’s age-limit law on judges.

There are two other primaries – both on the Democratic side – in Mahoning County with more than one person seeking the office.

In the county commissioner’s race, incumbent Carol Rimedio-Righetti raised $26,750 and spent $16,220 between Jan. 1 and April 18.

Her opponent, Canfield Township Trustee Joe Paloski, received $2,495 in contributions and $12,000 in loans while spending $2,603 during the pre-primary period.

The Democratic primary winner faces Republican Rick Barron in the fall.

The other primary is for the 59th Ohio House District seat currently held by state Rep. John Boccieri, who is running for the 33rd Ohio Senate District position.

Poland Township Trustee Eric C. Ungaro raised $23,060 in the pre-primary period and received a $1,000 loan from his father, Pat Ungaro, Liberty Township administrator. Eric Ungaro spent $20,741 during the period.

Boardman Township Trustee Larry Moliterno, his primary election opponent, raised $10,586 between Jan. 1 and April 19 and spent $9,669.

The winner faces Republican Don Manning in the general election.

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