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Mayor Brown leads challengers in campaign funding

YOUNGSTOWN — Youngstown Mayor Jamael Tito Brown raised and spent more money on his re-election campaign in a little more than four months than his opponents did combined.

Brown, a Democrat seeking his second four-year term, raised $56,342.50 between June 5 and Oct. 13, according to his pre-general election campaign finance report filed with the Mahoning County Board of Elections.

In comparison, Republican Tracey Winbush raised $24,631 from the start of the year until Oct. 13 and independent Richard Vincent Hill, who filed by the May 3 deadline, raised $15,401.34 between that date and Oct. 13 with $13,000 contributed by him.

Between Jan. 1 and June 4, Brown raised $69,030 and spent $68,084 to win the three-person Democratic primary with 57.68 percent of the vote.

Brown came into the pre-general filing period with $9,347.17, which included money he had remaining from the primary and his previous mayoral campaign.

Among the largest contributions Brown received in the pre-general period, in which he raised $56,342.50, were $5,000 from Bruce Zoldan, president and CEO of Phantom Fireworks; $2,500 from Alex Zoldan, a Phantom vice president; and $2,000 from Canfield businessman Charles George.

City employees contributed $2,100 to Brown’s campaign.

Brown spent $35,116.78 during the pre-general period and had $30,572.89 in his fund as of Oct. 13.

His biggest expenses were $5,767.24 to Sherman Creative Promotions for yard signs and hand fans, $4,500 to Lamar Advertising for billboards, $3,694.54 to the Youngstown Letter Shop for campaign mail and printing costs and $3,534.75 to the Lake Club in Poland for expenses for a fundraiser.

Winbush reported raising $2,316 in the pre-general period and spending no money.

But she also filed a semi-annual report for Jan. 1 to June 30 that showed she raised $22,315 and spent $9,949.39 during that time.

Winbush filed the semi-annual report because she didn’t need to submit any primary reports with the elections board as she ran unopposed for the Republican nomination.

Winbush had $14,681.61 in her campaign fund as of Oct. 13.

Her biggest contributions were $5,000 from Mike Gibbons, a Cleveland-area businessman who is running for the U.S. Senate next year; $2,500 from the Victoria A. Benyo Trust of Austintown; and $2,000 from the Frangos Group LLC of Cleveland, which used to be one of downtown Youngstown’s biggest landlords but no longer owns property in the city.

Winbush’s biggest expense this year was $9,328.14 to the Youngstown Country Club on May 10 for a golf outing fundraiser.

Of the $15,401.34 raised by Hill in this campaign, he contributed $13,000 of it himself. Also, city Clerk of Courts Sarah Brown-Clark, his boss, gave him $1,000.

Hill spent $14,690.51 and had $710.83 in his campaign fund as of Oct. 13.

AUSTINTOWN AND BOARDMAN

In Austintown, incumbent Trustee Kenneth Carano loaned $5,000 to his re-election campaign on Feb. 18. It’s the only money he reported on his pre-general report. Carano spent $4,078.33. Including a small carryover he had from previous campaigns, Carano had $1,141.60 in his fund as of Oct. 13.

The other incumbent trustee, Jim Davis, reported $3,650 in contributions on his report with $1,000 each coming from Sebastian Rucci of Austintown and the Penn National Gaming Political Action Committee, which runs the Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course racino in Austintown.

Davis spent $1,820.58 on his campaign. Including a small carryover, he had from his previous campaigns, Davis had $2,270.08 in his account as of Oct. 13.

Monica Deavers, one of the challengers for the two seats, raised $7,829 for her campaign with $7,000 coming from her. She also gave $2,583.62 in in-kind contributions to her campaign for billboards, shirts, business cards and signs.

After spending $6,878.83, which doesn’t include the in-kind contributions, she had $950.17 in her fund as of Oct. 13.

Robert Santos, another challenger, raised $3,197.39 from donors with the Mahoning County Republican Party being the largest at $1,972.39.

Santos has loaned his campaign $2,220 including $1,000 in this reporting period.

After spending $4,033.25 and including a carryover, his fund had $362.20 in it as of Oct. 13.

In Boardman, Trustees Brad Calhoun and Tom Costello are running for re-election.

Calhoun reported $5,385 in contributions with Bruce Zoldan donating $2,500. He had $16,105.96 in his fund to start the year. After $3,699.10 in expenditures, he had $17,791.86 in his campaign fund as of Oct. 13.

Costello entered the year with $14,566.39 in his campaign fund and raised $550 through Oct. 13 while spending $3,000.81. He had $12,115.58 in his account as of Oct. 13.

Only candidates who raise or spend at least $1,000 had to file pre-general election reports. Boardman trustee candidates Tabitha Fitz-Patrick and Jason JP Pavone did not file.

dskolnick@vindy.com

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