By Jordan Cohen
Four Niles council members are among 10 candidates to fill the 18-month unexpired mayoral term of the retired Thomas Scarnecchia.
Two of the council members – Barry Steffey, council president and acting mayor, and Linda Marchese, D-3rd – filed with the 12-member Democratic Precinct Committee shortly before Tuesday’s deadline of 4 p.m.
The committee will make its decision in council chambers July 27, 10 days later than the originally set date of July 17.
Party Chairman Dan Polivka said he extended the time period for reasons of transparency “and to give the many candidates time to get their information out and campaign.”
The decision by Steffey, 49, to put his name before the committee comes as a surprise. In a June 19 news conference one day after becoming acting mayor, the council president indicated he would not be a candidate for the unexpired term.
“I do not have an interest,” he said at the time, pointing out that he is a full-time sales manager for a New Castle, Pa., company.
“That is how I felt (because) I was focused on the transition,” he told The Vindicator at the Trumbull County Board of Elections Tuesday, adding that he looked at the challenges ahead, which impacted his decision.
“If things go my way, I will focus on only one thing, which would have to be the mayor,” Steffey said.
Marchese, 65, the other council member who filed at the deadline, noted that she is the only female candidate.
“It’s always the guys and I think the city could use a woman’s viewpoint,” she said.
Other council members who filed earlier are Steve Mientkiewicz, 34, D-2nd, and Barry Profato, 72, councilman at large. Profato was a write-in mayoral candidate in 2015.
The six remaining candidates include the city’s safety director and several making their first run for public office:
George Kaniclides, 76, Niles safety director and former Trumbull Sheriff’s deputy.
James Julian, 25, commercial recruiter for a staffing agency.
John Madigan, 42, who listed his position as overseeing operations of state-run liquor agencies in Niles.
Stephen Hrosar, 42, painting contractor.
Robert Violette, 25, music director for youth groups in Niles, Youngstown and Ashtabula.
George Kuriatnyk, 56, did not list a profession on his application.
Another city official who weighed filing and decided against it is Ed Stredney, service director. “I love my job,” he said when asked for his reason.
On Tuesday, Stredney accompanied Steffey to the board of elections.
Polivka said he will not endorse any of the candidates. “[It’s] in the hands of the 12 precinct committeemen,” he wrote in response to a Vindicator text message.