Hume wins bitter primary over Limbian for Youngstown judge



In a bitter race that saw each candidate criticize the other for poor decisions, Martin Hume beat Jeff Limbian in the Democratic primary for Youngstown Municipal Court judge.

Hume received 55.5 percent of the vote compared to 44.5 percent for Limbian, according to final, unofficial results.

“Youngstown Municipal Court [judge] is a very important position and we need to get the best possible person on the bench,” Hume said. “I’m really, really pleased with the people who helped me with their time, money and effort. I gave this campaign everything I had.”

When asked about bringing up Limbian’s 2016 personal bankruptcy that included about $150,000 in unpaid taxes to the federal, state and city governments, Hume said, “We tried to run the best campaign we could.”

Limbian said: “It shows that the low road is still the way to go in Mahoning County. I’m hoping in time negativity is not the best political way to go.”

Limbian said Hume took “cheap shots” at him.

2019 Primary Election Results

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2019 Primary Election Results

Hume will face Judge Renee M. DiSalvo, a Republican appointed by then-Gov. John Kasich to fill a vacancy starting Nov. 5, 2018. Also, Mark A. Hanni filed Monday as an independent candidate for the seat. The Mahoning County Board of Elections hasn’t certified independent candidates yet.

The position is for a six-year term.

“I’m going to work hard every single day from now until November to win,” Hume said.

During the campaign, Limbian, the city law director, and Hume, an assistant county prosecutor and former city law director, said the other made poor decisions.

Hume said Limbian’s issues with taxes, which have since been paid, were “irresponsible behavior.”

Meanwhile, Limbian criticized Hume for approving – when he was law director – about $4.5 million from water, wastewater and sanitary funds in 2017 for economic-development projects. The state auditor’s office wants the state to develop a repayment plan over a period of years from its general fund to the three other funds.

Limbian said that decision was “bad lawyering and bad decision-making.”

Hume said he acted on past legal opinion and that a Feb. 15 letter from a law firm hired by the current administration backed his decisions. That decision reads the auditor’s office “never clearly identified the grant program as a misuse of water/wastewater funds. In fact, the auditor has assisted the city in refining the grant program.”

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