Cash flows in county race for prosecutor

Desmond raises, spends more than incumbent Gains


Staff writer

YOUNGSTOWN — Marty Desmond, the Republican nominee for Mahoning County prosecutor, raised and spent more money than Paul J. Gains, the Democratic incumbent, during the pre-general election reporting period.

Campaign finance reports for that period, which is between May 30 and Oct. 14, show Desmond received $56,370 in contributions and $45,000 in loans — $40,000 from Elizabeth Joyce of Girard, his aunt, and $5,000 from the candidate.

In comparison, Gains, a 24-year incumbent, received $28,300 in contributions during the pre-general election period.

Between Jan. 1 and May 29, Gains of Boardman raised $40,610 to $17,800 for Desmond of Poland.

Even without the loans, Desmond has raised more than Gains during this campaign as of Oct. 14: $74,170 to $68,910.

Between May 30 and Oct. 14, Desmond also spent more Gains.

Desmond spent $103,224.85 with $52,868.77 paid to Communications Counsel of Columbus for consulting as well as buying ads on television and the internet. His campaign also paid $11,430 to VCreek / AMG of Topeka, Kan., for a poll of the race.

Gains spent $65,832.06 with $19,806 going to WFMJ-TV for commercials, $17,060.37 to the Mahoning County Democratic Party as part of its coordinated candidate campaign and $16,000 to Tabara Productions of Studio City, Calif., to produce commercials.

With carryover from previous campaigns, Gains had $42,383.80 in his account as of Oct. 14 compared to $5,995.71 for Desmond.

Desmond has a $3,750 outstanding debt to The Embassy in Boardman for food for a fundraiser while Gains has no campaign debt.


Another expensive race in Mahoning is for county court judge.

J.P. Morgan of Boardman was appointed to the seat, effective March 11, 2019, by Gov. Mike DeWine after David D’Apolito vacated it because he was elected to a position on the 7th District Court of Appeals. Morgan is being challenged by Joe Schiavoni of Boardman, a former Ohio Senate minority leader. Though there aren’t party affiliations for judicial candidates in Ohio’s general election, Morgan is a Republican and Schiavoni is a Democrat.

Morgan reported $33,725 in contributions and a $25,000 loan from his wife, Ronnie, while Schiavoni listed $45,980 in donations between May 30 and Oct. 14.

Morgan spent $23,565.18 compared to $56,118.40 for Schiavoni.

Including money the two carried over from previous campaigns, Morgan had $23,565.18 left in his account as of Oct. 14 compared to $11,356.68 for Schiavoni.

Incumbent Probate Court Judge Robert Rusu Jr. of Canfield raised $41,285 in the pre-general election reporting period compared to $700 for challenger David Engler of Austintown, who loaned $10,047.21 to his campaign.

Rusu filed as an independent, while Engler is a Republican.

Rusu spent $55,753.39 between May 30 and Oct. 14 with $28,500 going to Communications Counsel for advertising and consulting work with City Printing of Youngstown getting $14,988.46 for campaign mail.

Engler spent $1,764.25 between May 30 and Oct. 14.

As of Oct. 14, Rusu had $13,164.71 in his campaign fund compared to $8,982.96 for Engler.


There are two county commissioner seats up for grabs this year with Democratic incumbents David Ditzler of Austintown and Anthony Traficanti of Poland seeking re-election and facing Republican opponents.

During the pre-general election time, Ditzler raised $51,427.67 and spent $33,866.35.

Steve Kristan of Canfield, his Republican challenger, received $9,000 in contributions and loaned $33,001 to his campaign. Kristan’s campaign also listed $5,111.08 in debt owed to the candidate. He spent $29,158.64.

Including money from before this reporting period, Ditzler had $33,107.14 to $13,839.50 for Kristan in their funds as of Oct. 14.

There’s significantly less money raised and spent in the other commissioner’s race.

Traficanti raised $650 and Grant W. Williams of New Middletown, his Republican challenger, raised $620 between May 30 and Oct. 14.

Traficanti had nearly $27,000 in his fund before May 30 and spent $6,947.18 on this campaign compared to $245.68 for Williams, who loaned $500 to his campaign on March 7.

As of Oct. 14, Traficanti had $20,687.03 in his campaign fund compared to $874.32 for Williams.

Williams also has given $1,970 to his campaign in in-kind contributions to pay for yard signs and banners.


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