Probate race highlights 2014 primary

WARREN – With Election Day on Tuesday, voters in Trumbull County will vote on a number of local candidates and determine the outcome of several local issues.

Perhaps the most interesting race is the one for Probate judge, where two of the candidates, attorneys James A. Fredericka and Patricia Leopardi Knepp, have spent more than $50,000 a piece to secure the Democratic primary in the three-person race.

Attorney William Flevares isn’t as flush, but has spent more than $15,000 in his bid.

The three are attempting to replace Probate Court Judge Thomas Swift, whose age prohibits him from seeking another term.

No Republican candidate has filed, but there still is time for independent candidates to file to run in November’s general election by today’s 4 p.m. deadline.

Voters will also decide the fate of seven school levies, three of which are seeking more money: Howland, Mathews a combined bond issue and tax levy and Southington. There are seven issues, including five after more money: Bloomfield, Liberty, Newton Township, Weathersfield and Newton Falls, where voters will be asked to increase an income tax.

In addition, there are two liquor options for some voters in Bazetta and one more liquor option in Niles.

There are no countywide issues, but there is one statewide issue. Issue 1 would help local governments pay for public infrastructure improvements. Voters approved the program in 1987 and reapproved twice since. If approved, up to $1.8 billion in bonds would be sold over a period of 10 years.

Turnout locally is expected to be low.

Kelly Pallante, director of the Trumbull County Board of Elections, is predicting, at the high end, about 25 percent. Turnouts in 2012 and 2010 primary elections were 24.7 percent.

In Mahoning County, turnout is expected to be between 25 and 28 percent.