Democrat, independent vie for position
By David Skolnick
and Ed Runyan
Struthers Mayor Terry Stocker, who won an unlikely write-in campaign four years ago, won’t seek re-election.
Monday was the deadline to file as write-in candidates, and Stocker chose not to do so.
There was speculation Stocker, who won the 2015 election as a write-in candidate by only 72 votes, would run again this year as a write-in.
“I wasn’t sure what I was going to do early on, but I decided not to run for re-election,” he said Monday. “It’s been a great run as mayor. But I want to spend more time with my family.”
Stocker spent 18 years on council before being elected mayor.
With Stocker officially not a candidate, Struthers voters will choose their next mayor during the November general election between Catherine Cercone Miller, secretary to the law director and winner of the May Democratic primary, and Robert Carcelli, an independent who is a former longtime councilman-at-large and served a term as council president.
Stocker said he hasn’t decided if he’s going to endorse either candidate.
In 2015, Stocker beat Democratic nominee Danny Thomas Jr., a former council president and 1st Ward councilman, 1,431 to 1,359. On election night four years ago, Thomas was the apparent winner by 72 votes, but county board of elections workers later found a sealed ballot box with uncounted write-in votes that swung the election for Stocker.
Among those who filed by Monday’s deadline in Mahoning County as write-in candidates were:
Craig Brown of Salem, a former Columbiana County recorder, and Atty. A. Ross Douglass of Canfield, who unsuccessfully ran last year for a Mahoning County Court judge position, for an open seat on the Mahoning County Educational Service Center board. Because Brown in a Mahoning County school district, he’s eligible to run. The two will face incumbent Marie Dockry of Austintown, who filed for re-election, for two seats. The other incumbent, David Engler of Austintown, chose to instead run for trustee in his township.
Nia Simms for Youngstown school board. She unsuccessfully ran for the board as a write-in two years ago. There are six candidates who’s names will appear on the ballot for three seats.
Michael A. Harvey for 4th Ward Youngstown councilman. Councilman Mike Ray, an incumbent Democrat, and Stephen T. Lesko Jr., an independent, are seeking the position.
Kerry Fairbanks for Canfield City Council. There are five candidates on the ballot running for four seats.
Melinda Vecchio for an open seat on the Sebring school board. There are two four-year terms on the board up for election in November and only one candidate – incumbent Robin Ann Flowers – filed for those seats. Also, there’s an unexpired two-year term on the board with only Scott Latham filing for the seat.
Eugene Mach, whose name does not appear on this November’s ballot for re-election as Warren’s 7th Ward councilman because of flaws in his nominating petitions in February, is among several Trumbull County residents who have filed to run in November as a write-in.
As a write-in, Mach’s name will not appear on the ballot, but it does appear on a list of candidates on the Trumbull County Board of Elections website. Voters also can ask for a list of certified candidates at the polls in his ward, and his name will appear, said Stephanie Penrose, elections board director.
Two other candidates removed from the ballot in February for having an insufficient number of valid signatures on their petitions are William J. Williams Sr., who has filed as a write-in in an attempt to hold onto his seat as president of Hubbard City Council; and Darin J. Ward, who is running as a write-in candidate for Lordstown Village Council.
Others running as write-ins are Geo Kuriatnyk for president of Niles City Council; John T. Wesley for Girard mayor; Samuel J. Zirafi for Girard council at-large; Patricia Hanzes for Newton Township trustee; John E. Fowley for Warren Board of Education; Teresa M. Oakes for Newton Falls Board of Education; Elizabeth D. Haddle and Scott L. Richards for Mathews Board of Education; Shawn M. Chrystal for Liberty Board of Education; and Sarah R. Ahren and Michael J. Mogg Sr. for Hubbard 3rd Ward City Council member.
Ahren and Mogg have filed to run against incumbent Lisha Pompili-Baumiller, who filed as a write-in after being removed from the ballot for having an insufficient number of signatures on her nominating petitions in February.