By DAVID SKOLNICK
Today is the primary election in Ohio with turnout expected to be extremely light.
Also, Monday was the deadline for independent candidates running in partisan races in the Nov. 5 to file nominating petitions. There were a number of interesting names among those who filed.
Polling locations are open today from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Election officials in the Mahoning Valley predict poor turnout. The expectation is 10 percent to 12 percent in Mahoning County, 15 percent to 20 percent in Trumbull County, and 11 percent to 12 percent in Columbiana County.
Among those filing as independents on Monday for the November ballot were candidates for all seven Youngstown City Council seats – including two city employees whose eligibility could be questioned.
In council’s 1st Ward, Mike Write, who lost the Democratic primary for the same position four years ago by 11 votes, filed as an independent.
In the 2nd Ward, Cecil Monroe, a frequent candidate, filed. He ran for mayor in 2013 and 2017, receiving 0.03 percent and 0.54 percent of the vote, respectively. He also lost the 2nd Ward council race in 2015, receiving 6.9 percent of the vote.
Adrian L. McDowell and Ronald Shadd filed in the 3rd Ward. McDowell lost the 1st Ward council race in 2011, receiving 28.5 percent of the vote.
Shadd finished third for three seats in 2017 on the Youngstown school board. Only three candidates, including Shadd, had their names on the ballot for those three seats while five others ran as write-ins.
Stephen T. Lesko Jr. filed in the 4th Ward.
Corrine Sanderson and Lee David Pupio filed in the 5th Ward.
Pupio works for the city’s wastewater department. It is uncertain if he’s eligible to run because of the Hatch Act, which restricts certain municipal employees from engaging in political activity, including running for partisan offices.
Sanderson was elected in 2015 to the Youngstown school board, finishing third for four seats. That was a race among seven candidates, but Sanderson was one of three to have her name appear on the ballot. The other four ran as write-in candidates.
Also, in 2016, Sanderson was the unsuccessful Republican nominee for the Ohio House 58th District position, receiving 22.8 percent of the vote.
In the 6th Ward, David Starr, who is active in a South Side neighborhood block watch, filed to run. Starr acknowledged on Facebook he voted early in the Democratic primary. Under state law, that no longer makes him an independent, and the elections board is expected to disqualified him.
In the 7th Ward, Donald P. Scott, a detective sergeant with the city police department, filed as an independent. It’s unclear if Scott, who is also an attorney, is eligible to run because of the Hatch Act.
Police Chief Robin Lees said Scott spoke to him Monday to inform him he was going on vacation, effective today, until June 5.
Also, Mark A. Hanni filed to run for municipal court judge.
Hanni unsuccessfully ran for a municipal court seat in 2017 receiving 34.2 percent of the vote. He also failed last year to get appointed to the same court and applied for a Mahoning County Court judicial vacancy earlier this year and was rejected.
In Struthers, Robert D. Carcelli, a former longtime councilman-at-large who served one term as council president from 2004 to 2005, filed as an independent candidate for mayor. Gianni Qualtro is running as an independent candidate for the 3rd Ward council seat in Struthers.
Mayor Terry Stocker was re-elected to a second term four years ago as a write-in candidate, winning by 72 votes. Stocker couldn’t be reached Monday by The Vindicator to comment on his political plans. He has previously refused to talk to the newspaper about them.
Aug. 26 is the filing deadline for write-in candidates.
In the village of Poland, Mayor Timothy D. Sicafuse was the only one to file for that seat.
The biggest name among the Trumbull County independents filing is Randy Law, onetime Republican state representative for the 64th District and former county Republican Party chairman. Law is running for Warren mayor against Democrat incumbent Doug Franklin, who has no other opposition in November.
Law last ran for public office one year ago, when he lost 57 percent to 43 percent to Martha Yoder of Farmington Township for the Republican nomination for 64th District seat.
Robert Bond, a Lordstown council member, followed through with his pledge to run against Mayor Arno Hill, a Republican. Bond said in April one of his chief concerns is that the village not rezone land for industrial development if land already industrially zoned is available. He said the rezoning of land for the HomeGoods warehouse is an example.
Those running for nonpartisan seats, such as township trustee and school board member, have until Aug. 7 to file.
Contributor: Ed Runyan