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Limited choices are detrimental to democracy

Choice is what makes America great.

That’s why we are so pleased to see that Youngstown voters will have choices when they head to the polls this year to cast ballots in the Youngstown mayoral race.

Certified last week by the Mahoning County Board of Elections were incumbent Mayor Jamael Tito Brown and challengers Youngstown 1st Ward Councilman Julius Oliver and local businessman Ryan Kelly. The three will face off in the May 4 Democratic primary.

Also certified was Tracey Winbush as the only Republican mayoral race candidate. Winbush has resigned from her post on the elections board. She automatically moves to the November general election as the GOP candidate as there won’t be a primary election for that political party.

Write-in candidates and / or nonparty candidates also still may file to run in the mayoral race. May 3 is the deadline to file as an independent. That’s a day before the spring primaries.

Oliver, who was elected in 2019 to his second four-year term, was considering an independent bid as well, but decided to run in the Democratic primary after most people he spoke to urged him to do that.

Winbush’s candidacy guarantees there will be opposition in the November general election.

We have consistently stressed the importance of choice in local elections because we believe political competition always raises the bar in elected office, particularly on issues such as government spending and transparency. It demands that officeholders do not get comfortable in their roles as public servants and that they always are held accountable for their decisions and campaign promises.

We urge a continued push to strengthen the local two-party system, and for potential candidates to consider the value of running for elected posts and representing local residents as a public servant.

Indeed, choices are crucial to checks and balances in government, and without ballot options, the value of our elections is greatly diminished.

At the end of the day, we hope for a clean, competitive mayoral primary race and subsequent general election.

For the sake of our city, its residents and its businesses, may the best candidate win.

editorial@tribtoday.com

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