Two Democrats filed as write-in candidates for Mahoning County auditor
By David Skolnick
Two Democrats filed paperwork to file as write-in candidates for Mahoning County auditor – including one already disqualified from seeking the position.
Filing by Monday’s deadline for write-in candidates were Brandon J. Kovach of 1942 Old Farm Trail in Austintown and Roger Chamberlain of 3039 Canfield Road in Youngstown, both as Democrats for county auditor.
Kovach submitted nominating petitions to get his name on the ballot, but the board ruled Feb. 16 that he didn’t have enough valid signatures on the documents. He needed at least 50 to qualify. He turned in petitions with 66 signatures, but only 45 were ruled valid.
Elections board Chairman Mark Munroe, who is also the county Republican Party head, said Kovach isn’t allowed to run as a write-in candidate.
“Once the board rules you are disqualified as a candidate, you are precluded from running as a write-in,” Munroe said.
Chamberlain used to be a clerk for county Democratic Party Chairman David Betras’ law firm.
Betras said Monday: “I didn’t recruit him to be in the race. I haven’t talked to Mr. Chamberlain in years.”
For Chamberlain to move to the general election ballot as the Democratic nominee, he would need at least 50 write-in votes in the May 8 primary.
If he does that, he would face incumbent Republican Ralph T. Meacham in the general election.
Also filing as a write-in was Darya Klammer of 8300 Browning Court in Concord as a Democrat in a race for a seat on the Warren-based 11th District Court of Appeals. She would face the winner of the Republican primary between incumbent Judge Colleen O'Toole and Matt Lynch.