Mahoning sheriff’s race leads campaign spending

Mahoning sheriff’s race leads campaign spending YOUNGSTOWN — The most contentious race in Mahoning County is shaping up to be the most expensive one.

Sheriff Randall A. Wellington of Youngstown raised $18,957 in 2007 that he added to the $23,123 he had before last year, according to campaign financial reports for the year 2007. Today was the deadline for candidates and officeholders running this year to file their annual reports with county boards of elections.

David P. Aey, Wellington’s Democratic primary contender, raised significantly more than the incumbent. Aey of Boardman received $45,825 in contributions last year, nearly all of it at Sept. 12 and Nov. 18 fundraisers.

Of the $17,527 Aey raised, $8,500 went for expenses related to the fundraisers. His campaign also paid $1,500 to the Brunner Firm of Columbus for legal work to determine his eligibility.

Wellington filed a protest with the Ohio Supreme Court claiming his challenger doesn’t meet the minimum supervisory experience requirement. The county board of elections voted last month that Aey has the experience and kept him on the ballot.

Nearly all of the money Wellington spent last year on his campaign went to Keynote Media Group of Youngstown for campaign consulting, developing his Web site, campaign literature and photographs.

As of Dec. 31, 2007, Wellington had $27,238 in cash on hand compared to $28,298 for Aey.

For the complete story, see Friday’s Vindicator and