Six seek to succeed Holmes in the state House

By David Skolnick


Six Democratic candidates are seeking the appointment to replace Glenn Holmes as the Ohio House 63rd District representative.

Those who turned in resumes and cover letters to the Ohio House Democratic Caucus are:

Gil Blair, a Weathersfield Township trustee and assistant Warren law director.

David Detec of Girard, an attorney with Manchester, Newman & Bennett law firm and a former member of the Western Reserve Port Authority board of directors.

Thomas Harwood of Niles, a retired business executive who served as president of the Trumbull County Senior Advisory Board and unsuccessfully sought the 2016 appointment for Niles treasurer. His wife is Trumbull County Family Court Judge Sandra Stabile Harwood, who served four terms in the Ohio House from 2003 to 2010 in a district that largely takes in the current 63rd.

Barry Profato, a Niles councilman at large and former Niles Municipal Court clerk who has unsuccessfully run for Niles mayor as well as losing the 2002 Democratic primary for state representative to Harwood’s wife.

Jack Simon of Liberty, director of governmental affairs and special projects coordinator for the Trumbull County Engineer’s office and a former Liberty Township trustee.

Melissa Wasser of McDonald, a policy analyst with the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that provides pro bono legal services to journalists.

Kathy DiCristofaro of Niles, the county Democratic Party’s vice chairwoman and Ohio Democratic Women’s Caucus chairwoman, applied for the position, but withdrew her application. She is a teacher at the Niles school district who plans to retire. Taking the seat would impact her retirement benefits, said Pete Shipley, a caucus spokesman.

A five-member committee – which includes state Reps. Michele Lepore-Hagan of Youngstown, D-58th, and Michael J. O’Brien of Warren, D-64th – will screen the applicants and make a recommendation to the full 37-member caucus.

A timeline for naming a replacement to fill Holmes’ unexpired term, which runs through Dec. 31, 2020, hasn’t been established.

Holmes, a Girard Democrat, resigned May 1, four months into his second two-year term, to take a job on the Ohio Parole Board that pays $87,755 annually.

The state representative position has an annual base-pay salary of $63,007 with additional money for those who serve in leadership spots on House committees.

The 63rd District includes all or parts of Bazetta, Brookfield, Cortland, Girard, Fowler, Hartford, Hubbard [both city and township], Liberty, Lordstown, McDonald, Newton Falls, Newton Township, Niles, Vernon, Vienna and Weathersfield.

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