McNally spent big in close race

John McNally needed every dollar of the $88,463 he spent to the win the Democrat primary election for mayor in Youngstown.

McNally, the former two-term commissioner in Mahoning County, by a mere 150 votes, defeated Jamael Tito Brown, the president of city council in Youngstown, to secure the nomination in what ultimately boiled down to a two-man race.

A third candidate, Matthew Smith, received fewer than 100 votes.

Campaign finance reports filed with the Mahoning County Board of Elections show that much of what McNally spent was early on in the campaign, $59,956 through mid-April. Over the last reporting cycle, which covered April 18 through June 7, McNally spent $28,507.

McNally spent about $27 for each of the 3,292 votes he received.

Of the total $99,919 raised by McNally, $23,901 was during the final weeks leading to May 7.

McNally has $28,002 in his campaign bank account heading into November’s general election, which will have four other men on the ballot for mayor.

Brown did not meet Friday’s 4 p.m. filing deadline, nor did he file a report on Monday. Smith filed Monday, reporting he did not raise or spend any money.

Also, reports filed by a skilled trade union opposed to a ballot issue that would have choked off the development of natural gas drilling and related industry in Youngstown show the group’s spending against the issue dropped considerably in the days leading to Election Day.

Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 396 spent just $2,437 in the reporting period, compared to $58,300 early in the campaign.

The union was part of the larger Mahoning Valley Coalition for Job Growth and Investment, a group the formed in April against the measure that would have changed the Youngstown charter. The union’s spending was from its general fund, not from its political action committee.

The amendment was placed on the ballot by a group that had concerns over the effects drilling may have on the environment in Youngstown. Backers of the amendment, Community Bill of Rights Committee, did not file a report for the last period.

The amendment lost, 43 percent for and 57 percent against.