Six candidates filed for 7th District Court of Appeals

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Wednesday was deadline to file for positions on ballot

By David Skolnick


There are four positions on the ballot in Mahoning County without incumbents with a seat on the 7th District Court of Appeals attracting the most candidates.

There are four Democrats and two Republicans vying for the nomination of their respective parties on the May 8 primary ballot for the appeals court spot.

They’re seeking to succeed Mary DeGenaro, a Republican who resigned two weeks ago after the governor appointed her to fill a vacancy on the Ohio Supreme Court.

The appellate seat initially attracted the interest of some of Mahoning County’s most prominent elected officials, including Common Pleas Court Judges R. Scott Krichbaum and Maureen Sweeney on the Republican side and Prosecutor Paul J. Gains as a Democrat. All of them, however, opted not to run for the position.

The 7th District hears cases from Mahoning, Columbiana, Belmont, Carroll, Harrison, Jefferson, Monroe and Noble counties.

But all the candidates who filed for it are from Mahoning County, and the appellate courthouse is in downtown Youngstown.

On the Democratic side are Judge David A. D’Apolito of county court; Aaron Hively, the appeals court’s chief mediator; Mark A. Hanni, who unsuccessfully ran for this court six years ago and for Youngstown Municipal Court last November; and his sister, Holly Hanni.

The Republican candidates are Damian DeGenova, who lost the Struthers Municipal Court judge race last November, and Kathleen Bartlett, an attorney from North Jackson.

Wednesday was the deadline to file for positions on the primary ballot.

The other open judicial seat is on the common pleas bench. Lou D’Apolito cannot run for re-election because of the state’s age-limit law on judges.

Only two Democrats filed to replace Judge D’Apolito and no Republicans. The Democrats are Dan Dascenzo, a common pleas court magistrate, and Youngstown Deputy Law Director Anthony Donofrio.

State Sen. Joe Schiavoni, a Democrat, is term-limited in the 33rd District and is running for governor.

The only candidates who filed to succeed him are state Rep. John Boccieri, D-59th, who used to serve in that position before Schiavoni, and Republican Michael Rulli, director of operations for Rulli Bros.

With Boccieri vacating the 59th Ohio House District seat, two Democrats – Boardman Township Trustee Larry Moliterno and Poland Township Trustee Eric C. Ungaro – and Republican Don Manning are running for that seat.

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