By Bertram de Souza (Contact)
Published January 3, 2012
With Mahoning County Commissioner John McNally not seeking re-election this year, the open seat has attracted a slew of candidates. And, that has prompted the question of whether the Democratic Party should endorse in the race.
Party Chairman David Betras says it’s up to the precinct committeemen and women and that the issue can be raised on Saturday when the party’s executive and central committee meets. In an e-mail sent out Tuesday, Betras listed the candidates who have applied for the endorsement: Domenic Delmonte, David Ditzler, Terry Stocker and Jerry McNally. Not on the list are Richard Oz Ouzounian, Patrick M. Chrystal, Joe Louis Teague and Walter Pishkur.
An argument can be made for not endorsing, seeing as how there is no incumbent and so many candidates have shown an interest in the office. On the other hand, an endorsement forces applicants to touch base with the precinct committee members and persuade them of the strength of their candidacies. With there being no incumbent, the race is wide open — at least for the legitimate contenders.
Given Betras’ insistence that an endorsement in the commissioner’s race is not etched in stone, a debate on the issue would certainly be interesting — and good for the Mahoning County Democratic Party.