Big spending equals big win for mayor

YOUNGSTOWN – John McNally’s big spending in the race for mayor of Youngstown equaled a big win Tuesday in what really was a two-person race that became clouded in controversy.

Incomplete, unofficial results from the Mahoning County Board of Elections show the Democratic Party-endorsed candidate McNally, a former county commissioner, took an early lead and won going away from independent candidate DeMaine Kitchen.

McNally received 54.5 percent of the vote and Kitchen, the chief of staff / secretary for Mayor Charles Sammarone, with 42.9 percent.

McNally’s spending, about $50,000 since the end of June, was about fives times more than Kitchen, who reported spending about $11,000, according to campaign finance reports.

A message seeking comment was left with McNally. A message could not be left with Kitchen; his voicemail box was full.

Also in the race and on the ballot were independent Frank Bellamy, who received 1.1 percent and John Crea, who received 0.8 percent while in the Mahoning County Jail because of legal trouble.

Sixty votes were cast for write-in candidates Claudette R. Moore and Cecil B. Monroe. However, individual results were not available Tuesday night. Elections board chairman, Republican Mark Munroe, said the write-in ballots need to be hand tallied.

The board must certify the election results by Nov. 15. The controversy involved accusations of sexual harassment against Kitchen, who also had to explain himself for trouble with staying current on his property taxes and other financial and tax troubles. The sexual harassment claims are being investigated.

And for McNally, it was the specter of the Oakhill Renaissance Place corruption probe to deal with. The charges have been dismissed.