May primary race includes 2 key contests
WARREN — Voters in the May 8 primary will choose between two GOP rivals to put up against the Democratic incumbent in Ohio’s 64th District and decide whether to oust the Democratic incumbent in the Trumbull County commissioners race.
The election does not feature many contested county-wide or district-wide races, and most of the candidates are seeking election to the Trumbull County central committees for the Republican and Democratic parties.
Randy Law and Martha Yoder, Trumbull County Republicans, will face off to see who will compete against State Rep. Michael J. O’Brien, D-Warren, in the 64th District. And Commissioner Frank Fuda will face off against Lisha Pompili Baumiller, a rematch of a 2014 race that Fuda won, to see who goes up against Republican Mary Williams in the November election.
Yoder, who lost to O’Brien in 2017 during his second general election run for the seat, and Law were on opposite sides of an internal party dispute that led to lawsuits and hearings before the Ohio Republican Party and the eventual removal of Law as local GOP chairman. In 2016, Law filed a suit against Yoder in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court, seeking to remove her from her position as the party’s secretary. Yoder filed a countersuit. Both were eventually dismissed.
Neither wanted to comment about running against one another in the statewide race.
However, Law did say he is “looking forward to the opportunity to discuss the issues with Michael O’Brien and giving the voters a choice for their state representative.”
Yoder, a former Farmington Township trustee, said she aims to challenge the status quo.
“I believe that my experience as an owner of an established business, community activist and public servant makes me the stronger candidate to challenge the current representative who epitomizes the status quo and who has accomplished so little for our area,” Yoder said.
Kevin Wyndham, who succeeded Law as local GOP party chairman when Law was ousted, said he is happy to see the party putting up viable candidates in several races.
Williams, who lost to Commissioner Dan Polivka in 2016 with 44 percent of the vote, will face off against Fuda, who has held the seat for 11 years, or Pompili Baumiller, the 18-year Hubbard 3rd Ward councilwoman.
If Williams or Pompili Baumiller succeed, one will be the first woman to sit on the board of commissioners since Margaret Dennison in the mid-1980s.
Fuda said his record as commissioner demonstrates he knows the job is about public service and he is a force to make positive change for the people of Trumbull County.
“I am in the office every day. I take the calls, I talk to people and I hear them out. And I follow through, I see through whatever issue the person has until it is resolved,” Fuda said.
Pompili Baumiller said if she is selected by voters, she will put an end to hiring practices that reveal “cronyism and nepotism.”
“You will be hired on what you know, not who you know,” she said.