Judicial seat most expensive campaign in Mahoning County

By David Skolnick



A seat on the Mahoning County Common Pleas Court bench, which is expected to be among the most competitive on the county ballot, is the most expensive.

As of Oct. 19, $242,831 has gone into the campaigns of Judge Shirley J. Christian of New Springfield and her challenger, Anthony M. D’Apolito of Poland, according to pre-general-election campaign finance reports filed by Thursday’s deadline with the county board of elections.

Judge Christian has raised $134,121, compared with $108,710 for D’Apolito, but she collected more because she and her husband, Robert, lent $60,000 to her campaign. The loans make up 45 percent of all the money Judge Christian has raised for this campaign.

In comparison, D’Apolito has lent $12,710 to his campaign, raising $98,000 from contributors. D’Apolito’s loans make up 12 percent of the money he’s raised.

Judge Christian’s $25,000 campaign loan was made Oct. 7. Her husband lent $25,000 to the campaign Aug. 13, 2015, and $10,000 on Aug. 30 of this year.

D’Apolito lent $10,000 to his campaign Sept. 12. He had lent another $10,000 on Aug. 13, 2015, but has paid back all of it except $2,710 as of Oct. 19.

Other candidates on the ballot also lent money to their campaigns in the pre-general-election period between April 16 and Oct. 19. Republican Adam Rutushin, running for a county commissioner seat, lent $27,105 to his campaign, while Steven M. Carter, a Republican running for county recorder, lent $1,300 to his campaign.

In the county treasurer’s race, incumbent Democrat Daniel R. Yemma lent $6,000 to his campaign, while his challenger, Republican Christine Lucarell Oliver, lent $3,000. She previously had lent $2,625 to her campaign.

Among those raising the most money for seats in Mahoning and Trumbull counties during the pre-general-election period were: state Rep. Sean J. O’Brien with $73,208, the Democratic nominee for the 32nd Ohio Senate District; state Rep. John Boccieri with $65,725, a Democrat seeking re-election to the 59th Ohio House District; Mahoning County Commissioner David Ditzler with $39,470, a Democrat running for re-election; state Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan with $39,232, a Democrat running for re-election in the 58th Ohio House District; and Mahoning County Engineer Patrick T. Ginnetti with $37,975, a Democrat who is unopposed in the general election.

Ginnetti spent $36,217 during the pre-general period, much of it on contributions to other Democrats who are facing challengers.