Members of Mahoning County's Democratic Party central committee will meet June 6 to find a replacement for Lisa Antonini, who resigned as Mahoning County treasurer almost immediately after news of her being charged federally hit Monday.
So far, only a few names in Mahoning County politics have expressed interest in filling Antonini's unexpired term, which ends in 2012.
Will Democrats let it become a popularity contest? Or will central committee members select the person best suited to manage Mahoning County's investments, be its banker, perform the treasurer's chief duty of tax collector and keep safe its cash?
As of Friday afternoon, those in the running were:
Ken Carano, party executive vice chairman and former state representative and regional liaison for former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland;
Daniel Yemma, chief deputy treasurer since 2007 and councilman in Struthers;
Roxanne DeNiro, 29-year employee in the treasurer's office.
Party chairman David Betras said Friday that another candidate, Lisa Oles, a trustee in Austintown, removed herself from the running.
Written submissions have to be to the party by May 31.
Antonini, 41, has been charged in a federal bill of information with mail fraud related to mailing a misleading campaign finance report, on which she didn't disclose what investigators call a $3,000 gift from an unnamed area businessman.
David Betras, party chairman, said the process to replace her started immediately and interest was strong.
Now, with a down but slowly recovering economy, it's especially important to pick the right person to manage the county's investments.
Trumbull County Treasurer Sam Lamancusa says earning money off investments is the most difficult aspect of the position now, plus it's also becoming more difficult to collect real estate tax bills, largely due to people being out of work.
It's a double-whammy, he says: It's hard to make money right now and with residents facing tough financial times themselves, it's increasingly hard to collect money.
Plus, the treasurers have additional duties, including maintaining bonds of several county officials and sitting on various boards, including the county budget commission and board of revision.
Trumbull County Central Committee Democrats got it right in a similar situation in 2006 when they picked current Auditor Adrian Biviano over Daniel Sferra, former Warren mayor and current at-large councilman to succeed David Hines.
Biviano, who had been Hines' chief deputy, had the experience and qualifications, something of which Sferra didn't have much.