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Should Dems endorse in commissioner’s race?

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.


1Vote_Oz(15 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

I want to make it clear as to why I'm not seeking any endorsements.

I’m a lifelong Democrat and I had the great honor of doing work for President Clinton in the White House for the 8 years he was President

Most politicians seek every endorsement they can get during a campaign. While I respect many of the groups that take the time to meet with candidates and endorse, I’m not going to seek any endorsements from any group including the Democratic Party.

The political and personal costs of some of these endorsements are too high. I will not be beholden to an endorsement, be anyone’s puppet, nor will I represent the insiders or fat cats that for too long have taken Mahoning County in the wrong direction.

Old style Boss Hogg politics got us into the situation we find ourselves today. It’s time to leave the politics of the past behind us.

While campaigning around the county, people tell me they are looking for fresh ideas and want Mahoning County to take a new direction.

There are opportunities to move Mahoning County forward all around us and when I’m in the commissioner’s office I’m going to make decisions that are good for everyone, not just a select few.

I hope to receive the people’s endorsement on Election Day!

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2TERRAPINST(320 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

Ok,lets get this straight. This blog is a Betras inspired comment motivated by the Chair himself. It is widely known that Betras calls Bertram with every inside piece of information he gets in an effort to stay out of his cross hairs and occasionally get the spin across. Much like Georgie Tablack used to. Betras was soooo die hard about the process of endorsement to show the POWER of the party except when its not what he wants. He says he does not "whip" votes but has gotten on the phones and coordinated no votes on endorsements ,as he did in last years counsel races in the 4th and 5th ward when it could have been uncomfortable. He had no problem whipping votes and calling precinct people to support his Board of Elections selection of George Beelen when he was shut down by the Secretary of State. He even called Ditzler to beg him not to oppose Beelen in exchange for his support of Ditzler( a life long, loyal member of the party, member of Executive Committee and incumbent office holder) for Commissioner. Now he's walking around with Buzz "I hate Unions" Pishkur. This is not hard to isolate if you call the precinct people he called to ask for their support. Remeber also a vote for Stocker seems like an invitation for Tablack to come back. Hey Bertram, why is there a surplus now that he's gone. Food for thought.

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3Vote_Oz(15 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

Thank you Jessiedavid for the comment. That's why I have the Pishkur Ditzler Stocker and Betras crowd working hard to keep me out, I'm not the go along get along candidate.

Congratulations to TERRAPINST for the comments on Betras. David's word is worthless and he lies when the truth would do. Some of the many reasons I'm not seeking the endorsement of the party.

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4TERRAPINST(320 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

Oz: I agree with the Betras stuff but you do realize that the above listed are your opponents and it is there JOB to keep you out? Dont get paranoid....

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5TERRAPINST(320 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

When Betras was running for Party Chair he slammed prior Chairs for not having the courage to endorse. Now he picks and chooses who he wants to be endorsed.Sucks to be the Boss huh, ez to criticize from afar. Chairman Betras couldnt name 10 precinct people.
Outwardly supporting Pishkur and doesnt want to have endorsements for a non incumbent held position the King of Hypocrisy.

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6TERRAPINST(320 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

Listen, Gdog. The point is this. If you are a precinct person why dont you have the intestinal fortitude to bring this to light at the endorsement meeting? What is your definition of what a Party Chair should be? I believe that the Chair should have a relationship with EVERY precinct person as Hanni, Morley and Antonini did. Its not corrupt its just simply listening to the most informed people who care about participating and who are ELECTED to do the job. And By the way have the balls to say that Belinky the nutball Creaton FREAKED OUTwhen Hunter who by the way ALOT of DEMOCRATS like showed up at the Maronite Center not Shady Run. Know your fing history you jerk and if you have the guts to say what you just have do it Saturday and be a REAL Precinct Person.

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7chuck_carney(499 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

Isn't Richard Ouzounian employed by by Chariman Mao Betras' firm? Is there a possible conflict of interest if the chair pushes for an endorsement of richard over the other candidates? either that, or there has been a falling out between Richard and David.

it is good to see an established business person Buzz Pishkur making a run.

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8Vote_Oz(15 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

I have not been employed by Betras since he laid me off in August 2010.

It's Oz not Richard. Too bad Walter has no experience in government and hates the unions.

Anyone Betras supports or endorses he thinks he owns, just ask Carol. This time he supports Pishkur and wants to endorse Ditzler.

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