The Mahoning County judicial primary winner raised about half as much money as his opponent

By David Skolnick


Though Dan Dascenzo raised about twice as much money as Anthony Donofrio in the Mahoning County Common Pleas Court Democratic primary, it was the latter who won.

Campaign finance reports show Dascenzo raised $109,165 between Jan. 1 and June 8 compared with $55,640 for Donofrio.

But Donofrio captured 57 percent of the vote in the May 8 primary compared with 43 percent for Dascenzo.

It was, by far, the most expensive primary race in Mahoning County this year.

Reports filed Friday were for money raised and spent between April 19 and June 8 for what is called the “post-primary” reporting period even though the primary was May 8.

Dascenzo raised $32,650 between April 19 and June 8 with $18,100 coming from Peter and Diane Wachter of Canfield, his uncle and aunt. Donofrio raised $11,065 during the same period.

Dascenzo spent $108,778 this year on the campaign including $51,616 during the post-primary period.

In comparison, Donofrio spent $51,160 this year on his campaign including $12,372 during the post-primary period.

Dascenzo also loaned $10,946 to his campaign.

Donofrio didn’t loan any money to his campaign, but has $40,507 in debt from money he gave the campaign. Donofrio faces no opponent in the November general election.

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

Meanwhile, in the county commissioner’s Democratic primary, incumbent Carol Rimedio-Righetti, who won with 68.5 percent of the vote, raised $27,950 for her re-election effort with $1,200 of it collected between April 19 and June 8.

Her opponent, Canfield Township Trustee Joe Paloski, who got 31.5 percent of the vote, raised only $2,545 from donors with $50 coming between April 19 and June 8. However, he loaned $16,000 to his failed campaign.

During the post-primary filing period Rimedio-Righetti spent $8,510 while Paloski spent $13,765.

Overall, Rimedio-Righetti spent $24,730 on her campaign and Paloski spent $16,368.

Rimedio-Righetti faces Republican Rick Barron in November.

The only other contested primary in Mahoning County last month was for the 59th Ohio House District seat currently held by state Rep. John Boccieri, who is running for the 33rd Ohio Senate seat.

Poland Trustee Eric C. Ungaro won the primary with 64 percent of the vote defeating Boardman Trustee Larry Moliterno, who received 36 percent of the vote.

Ungaro raised $29,210 for his campaign including $6,150 between April 19 and June 8. Of the $6,150, $5,000 came from the Ohio Education Association 299 of Columbus. Ungaro is a teacher.

Also, Ungaro loaned $500 to his campaign and his father, Patrick Ungaro, Liberty Township administrator, loaned it $2,000.

Moliterno raised $18,186 for his campaign with $7,600 coming in the post-primary reporting period.

Both candidates spent more money in the primary than they raised between Jan. 1 and June 8 – Ungaro spent $31,950 to $20,221 for Moliterno.

But the two had money in their campaign funds before Jan. 1 leaving both with small surpluses as of June 8.

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