Interim Mahoning Democratic leader is first to file for the position

By David Skolnick


Joyce Kale-Pesta, the interim Mahoning County Democratic Party chairwoman, has officially submitted her letter of interest to fill the post on a permanent basis.

Also, Kale-Pesta, the party’s first vice chairwoman/secretary, said Tuesday she wants to fill the remainder of former Chairman David Betras’ unexpired term through June 2022.

She had previously said she wanted to hold it only on a temporary basis through the 2020 presidential election.

“I want the time to groom a new chairman and help that person understand the process,” she said in explaining the change.

“This will give us time to find a chair for the long haul.”

But, if elected, Kale-Pesta said she wouldn’t rule out seeking another term three years from now.

Kale-Pesta, the director of the county board of elections, is the only person so far to apply for the chairmanship, said Kenneth Carano, the party’s elections chairman.

The deadline to apply for the position is June 7.

The party’s central committee will meet at 6 p.m. June 11 at St. Luke’s Church Hall, 5235 South Ave., Boardman, to vote for a new leader.

Betras, first elected chairman April 27, 2009, to fill an unexpired term, was re-elected in 2010, 2014 and 2018.

He said he resigned, effective May 15, to devote more time to his family and law practice.

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