YOUNGSTOWN – Today’s Democratic primary winner for Youngstown Mayor and Republican candidate Tracey Winbush has three independent candidates and one post to challenge them during the November 2nd general election.
John White of 107 N. Belle Vista Ave., a retired businessman; Richard V. Hill of 1020 Genessee Drive, the Supervisor of the Criminal Traffic Department in Youngstown, and Tayana C. Smith of 978 E. Boston Ave. signed up as independents for the mayor until Monday. No one has ever run for an elected office before.
Calvin Hill Sr. of 46 Lilburne Drive also entered as a candidate. The registration period for the election does not end until August 23rd. Hill ran as a registration deadline four years ago and received two votes.
Richard V. Hill has worked for the court clerk for the past 21 years and is also an insurance broker.
While Hill has consistently voted in Democratic primary for several years, he said he decided to run for an Independent because “you don’t have the time to discuss the issues in the primary. You may have longer time to speak in the general election. “
Hill said he was concerned that poverty, crime and unemployment rates were high in the city and that the current government, led by Mayor Jamael Tito Brown, was not “fiscally responsible with taxpayers’ money.”
The reason the city has a large surplus is because of the federal COVID-19 aid funding and not “because we have a strong budgeting process”.
Hill was among eight court clerks who received large raises from court clerk Sarah Brown-Clark in September. It was a decision that drew complaints from several city council members.
When asked how he can criticize the current administration for not being fiscally responsible for a 25.7 percent increase, Hill said, “I’ve taken on additional responsibility. If you do extra work, you should get paid to do it. “
Brown-Clark said she supported Hill’s candidacy but did not ask him to apply for the position. Hill said it was his idea to go into the race.
“It would be a wonderful alternative to Brown,” said Brown-Clark. “He has excellent qualifications. My administration issues are due to poor performance. “
White said he was running for mayor because the city is in decline and “no one has a plan to bring people here and keep them here”.
White said he wanted to cut the city’s current income tax of 2.75 percent by at least 1 percent, claiming this will push more residents and more businesses to make up for the loss.
“You’d have volume,” he said.
He also wants to restore residency requirements for city workers.
White owned a bakery, rentals, and a tow truck company.
He said he was spending “all my money running for mayor”.
The Mahoning County Electoral Board must certify all independent candidates. Those walking citywide in Youngstown require at least 173 valid signatures.
City law also states that “the mayor should be the elector and resident of the city for the five years immediately before the mayor is elected”.
White signed up to vote a few months ago and confirmed that he had not voted since the early 1990s.
“I never got involved in politics,” he said, explaining why he has not voted for about 30 years. “I raised a family and never got involved.”
He said he researched the charter and said, “If you want to fight this, I’ll go to court. The law is in my favor. The burden of proof is on them. “
Legal Director Jeff Limbian said the electoral committee contacted him because White hadn’t voted and they haven’t investigated because it’s not time sensitive.
But Limbian added, “As far as I know, there is a problem with the candidacy. John White’s candidacy is in doubt and I wanted to investigate it in the next week or so. “
Smith could not be reached on Monday to comment on why she is running for mayor. Smith has largely failed to attend the primaries for the most part in recent years, despite participating in the 2008, 2014, and 2018 Democratic primaries.
Today’s Democratic Elementary School has Brown of 625 Carlotta Drive serving his first term as Mayor and challenged by Councilor Julius Oliver, D-1st Ward, 47 Central Federal Street (Realty Tower Apartments), and Ryan Kelly of 1828 Chapel Hill Drive. Winbush, also at 47 Central Federal St., is the only Republican for the position.
Meanwhile, Donald P. Scott of Ivanhoe Ave. 1112, a retired town policeman who lost seven independent votes in the 2019 7th ward council race, and Erwin Adams of St. Louis Ave. 48, who works as a companion in a parking lot near the town hall, filed as an independent for the council chairman.
Scott and Adams both voted often in Democratic primary.
Once certified as a candidate, they will face the winner of today’s Democratic enrollment competition for the seat. The three candidates are DeMaine Kitchen of 77 Struthers Liberty Road, Thomas Hetrick of 435 Catalina Ave. and Lee David Pupio of 3432 N. Wendover Ave. No Republican ran for council chairmanship.
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