"And the winner of best catered chili is ..."


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by Todd Franko (Contact)   | 340 entries

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Area politicos gathered Wednesday night in Boardman for the annual Boardman Optimist Club’s 5th Annual Chili Cookoff.

It’s a fundraiser at Avion on the Water for the Optimist’s helpful efforts around Boardman.

It’s the one time per year where illegal voting methods are encouraged and celebrated — except of course, if you’re one of four winners. Then you try to convince the other 12 or so contestants that all the votes were legitimate.

Short story here: Anthony Traficanti and Joe Schiavoni always win, and did again last night. You can figure it out — not that I’m a bitter loser at all.

Here are some pix from the event:

Commissioner Traficanti explains to attendees how to vote for him over and over and over again.

• Senator Joe Schiavoni serves up chili to a dad who delicately balances his sleeping toddler. This was 500 votes for Joe right there.

• Commissioner Carol Rimedio-Righetti punched Boardman trustees in Wednesday's Vindicator for their pursuit of county sales tax dollars. But here, she's handing over joy -- not taxes -- to trustee Brad Calhoun -- WHILE HOLDING THAT SALES TAX STORY! 

Maggie Lorenzi tried my (wife's) chili -- and did not throw it back at me. (She's excitable.)

• Fresh off being tagged not competent, Dave Betras was all smiles -- even boasting to the crowd - "Look out, here comes Mr. Incompetent."

• And the best for last ...  this little girl, Ava Livesay, was crying and despondent when her cup of Vindy chili was gone. When we filled her back cup back up, she was all smiles. (Sorry it's a tad blurry.)

In addition to Traficanti and Schiavoni winning, so too did Sheriff Wellington and 27's Roxanne Seabest. So the night yielded at least two clean victors -- who possibly even cooked their own chili, too. (still not bitter)



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