Published June 4, 2007
On Monday afternoon, Dr. Bill Binning, chairman of the political science department at Youngstown State University and former chairman of the Mahoning County Republican Party, predicted that Noralynn Palermo, a veteran employee of the county Recorder's Office, would be selected Recorder by the Democratic precinct committeemen and women.
On Monday evening, by a vote of 110 to 99, Palermo defeated Atty. Mark Belinky for the position, left vacant recently by the resignation of Ron Gerberry, who has returned to the Ohio House of Representatives.
What was the basis of Binning's prediction? Conversations he had with precinct committee members who suggested that while Belinky has made peace with Democratic Party Chairwoman Lisa Antonnini, a goodly number of precinct committeemen and women who support Antonnini have not forgiven Belinky for his attacks on the party when he was involved with Democrats of the 17th and 6th Districts organization and was operating an Internet discussion board.
Belinky's decision to shut down the discussion board came on the heels of his securing a contract from Antonnini, county treasurer, to perform legal work for one of the programs administered by the office.
He has said publicly that he and the Democratic Party chairwoman have set aside their political differences and have decided to work together.
But Belinky's defeat Monday night makes clear that he has a lot of bridge-building to do with precinct committee members to have any hope of his winning the party nomination for Recorder should he decide to challenge Palermo.