Polivka apparently will be re-elected chairman of Trumbull Democrats today

By Ed Runyan



Though some central committee members for the Trumbull County Democratic Party seem unhappy with aspects of the process to select an interim coroner at a May 23 meeting, Trumbull County Commissioner Dan Polivka will apparently remain party chairman.

The deadline was 4 p.m. Wednesday to seek the positions of chairman, vice chairman or secretary by submitting petitions to the board of elections with 25 valid signatures on them.

Polivka of Warren submitted petitions for chairman; Kathy DiCristofaro of Niles submitted petitions for vice chairman; and Karen Zehr of Howland submitted petitions for secretary.

The board of elections checked the petitions and found them valid, but no one else submitted petitions, said Democrat Alan Shaker, deputy board of elections director.

That means all three will be unopposed at the county Democratic Party’s reorganization meeting at 5:30 tonight at Enzo’s restaurant on Elm Road.

DiCristofaro became vice chairman at the last reorganizational meeting in June 2014, trading places with then-Niles mayor Ralph Infante, who became secretary.

Infante was sentenced to 10 years in prison May 11 after being convicted of 22 charges, including engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity during his 24 years as Niles mayor ending in 2015. He was replaced shortly afterward as secretary.

At the May 23 central committee meeting, a voice vote was taken to destroy the paper ballots cast to select Dr. Thomas James interim coroner until an election in November to select someone to fill the final two years of Dr. Humphrey Germaniuk’s term.

From the remarks made at the May 23 meeting, it appeared some central committee members feared retaliation if party leaders were able to review how they voted. Polivka took the ballots with him at the end of the night.

The Trumbull County Republican Party, meanwhile, will meet at 6 p.m. Thursday at Howland Community Church to elect its top officers, including chairman, first vice chairman, treasurer and secretary.

The current chairman, Kevin Wyndham, said there appear to be contested races for some positions. Individuals can be nominated from the floor at the meeting.

The Republicans do not require candidates to submit nominating petitions to the elections board, Wyndham said.

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