Rimedio-Righetti raises double the funds of GOP challenger
YOUNGSTOWN — Relying on support from labor organizations, Mahoning County Commiss-ioner Carol Rimedio-Righetti, a Democrat, raised more than double the contributions received by Republican Geno DiFabio during the pre-primary filing period.
The period goes from Jan. 1 to April 13.
Neither is facing a challenger in the May 3 primary. Rimedio-Righetti, who is seeking her third four-year term, has the early financial advantage for the Nov. 8 election.
During the preprimary period, Rimedio-Righetti raised $21,415 to $9,635 for DiFabio, a first-time candidate.
Rimedio-Righetti received $8,500 from labor organizations: $2,500 each from the Teamsters in Youngstown, the Operating Engineers in Pittsburgh and the Plumbers and Pipefitters in Boardman as well as $1,000 contribution from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in Washington, D.C.
She also received $12,415 from a Jan. 30 fundraiser, charging $40 a ticket.
Rimedio-Righetti spent $7,637.07 between Jan. 1 and April 13 with $4,681.66 going to the Lake Club in Poland, where the fundraiser was held, and $2,955.41 to Vantell Media of Austintown for yard signs and printing costs.
Including money from previous campaigns, Rimedio-Righetti had $15,192.32 in her fund as of April 13.
Of the $9,635 DiFabio raised in the pre-primary period, $4,000 came from $1,000 contributions from four donors: Lee DeRose of Canfield, owner of YESCO Electrical Supply; Joseph J. Korff of Riviera Beach, Fla, owner of Quaker City Casting in Salem; Michael Kovach of Youngstown, president of City Machine Technologies, where DiFabio works; and Nathan Miller of Poland.
DiFabio spent $3,512.96 in the period with his biggest expense being $1,247.79 to 4imprint of Oshkosh, Wis., for what was listed as “promotional items.”
Including money he raised in the latter half of 2021, DiFabio had $8,719.28 in his campaign fund as of April 13.
County Auditor Ralph Meacham, a Republican who doesn’t have an opponent, raised $24,900 in the pre-primary period, largely from a $125-a-ticket fundraiser he had March 22.
May 2, the day before the primary, is the filing deadline for independent candidates. Meacham said he wants to have enough money in his campaign fund to fend off a potential independent challenger.
Several county Democratic officeholders or their campaign committees bought tickets to Meacham’s fundraiser including Rimedio-Righetti, Commissioner Anthony Traficanti, Engineer Patrick Ginnetti, Prosecutor Paul J. Gains and Sheriff Jerry Greene. Also, Commissioner David Ditzler gave $100 to Meacham’s re-election effort.
Meacham received $2,750 in contributions — tickets to the fundraiser — from those who work for him in the county auditor’s office.
Of the $8,500 Meacham spent in the pre-primary period, $5,720 went to the Embassy in Boardman, where the fundraiser was held.
Including money he carried over, Meacham’s campaign fund had $52,073.37 in it as of April 13.
Common Pleas Court Judge Anthony M. Donofrio, a Democrat, and Juvenile Court Judge Theresa Dellick, a Republican, are running unopposed in their primaries and in the general — unless an independent files. Neither filed campaign finance reports.
Also, Gene Donofrio, a Democrat seeking re-election to the 7th District Court of Appeals, and Mark Hanni, who is running as a write-in in the Republican primary to challenge him, didn’t file campaign finance reports.
There is a contested Democratic primary for an Ohio House seat in Mahoning County, but because there aren’t state legislative maps that the Ohio Supreme Court has determined are constitutional and the date for that primary hasn’t been resolved, those candidates didn’t have to file pre-primary campaign finance reports.
Even so, candidate Ronald Shadd of Youngstown, a former city school board member, filed a report showing he raised $300 between Jan. 1 and April 13 and spent $0.
The county Republican Party has considerably more money in its fund than the Democratic Party.
In the pre-primary period, the Republican Party received $52,185 in contributions with much of it coming from its Lincoln Day dinner March 31, which cost $125 a ticket.
The party actually spent more in the pre-primary period than it brought in.
The party spent $69,511.46 during that time with its largest expenses being $15,076 to Blue Wolf Events for the dinner and a $15,000 fee to Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the keynote speaker who was a former press secretary when Donald Trump was president.
But the Republican Party carried over $62,179.87 from before Jan. 1 and had $44,853.41 in its fund as of April 13.
The county Democratic Party also spent more than it raised during the pre-primary period. It received $2,410 in contributions and had $3,860.90 in expenses.
Because the party carried over $7,738.69 from before Jan. 1, it had $6,287.79 in its fund as of April 13.
The county Republican Party had more than seven times the cash in its campaign fund than the Democrats by the end of the pre-primary period.