I certainly wasn't going to predict that Randy Smith would win the appointment as Trumbull County engineer, especially given what happened in Mahoning County in June when pretty much everyone's underdog for treasurer, Dan Yemma, won the appointment.
I had a hunch that Smith, former deputy engineer, had the edge among Democratic precinct committee members, but remembering Yemma's win over Ken Carano, who many thought was a shoo-in, I wasn't counting out the other man in the race, Gary Taneri.
As it turns out, my hunch, the same sentiment of many others, was right: Smith was the man, but either person central committee members went with last week would have been a good selection.
Smith won 131-46.
There was nothing unusual about the meeting at DiVieste Banquet Hall. The process ran smoothly. As precinct committee members' names were called, they were given a ballot and voted. The ballots were counted, results announced and with that, the meeting was over.
Smith was gracious in his win, pledging to party members he won't make them regret their vote of support, and Taneri was every bit as gracious in the loss, saying he enjoyed the experience.
It's assured that Smith will run for his own full term next year (he's filling the remaining 16 months of former engineer David DeChristofaro's unexpired term). It's less certain for Taneri, who said the election is too far in the future to tell now.
Speaking of elections, the Nov. 2 ballot is nearly set (4 p.m. Aug. 29 is the deadline for write-in candidates to declare their intent to run and the elections board in Trumbull County still needs to certify the candidates, issues and options, which will happen when the board meets Aug. 22).
A few observations after Wednesday's filing deadline:
l If you needed more evidence that Trumbull County is a stronghold for Democrats, here it is: There is only one Republican running in the partisan races, Arno Hill of Lordstown. The former village mayor and current councilman is running to regain the mayor's post against council president Michael Sullivan, a Democrat.
Trustee, fiscal officer and school board races are non-partisan, but I'm sure there are some members of the GOP sprinkled in.
l So far, there are two write-in candidates and they're both in Newton Falls: Mary Susie Lane for second ward council and Gideon A. Fetterolf for mayor. Also running in those races are incumbents Nancy Hoffman, a Democrat in the second ward and Lyle A. Waddell, mayor.
l Nine issues have been for new money filed with the elections board, including two county-wide levies and requests by public libraries in Bristol, Kinsman and Newton Falls for expenses.
In Bristol and Kinsman, additional levies of 1-mill and 1.9-mills are being sought, while in Newton Falls, voters are being asked to approve a replacement 2-mill levy plus increase it 0.5-mills.
Doing so would be a double-boost to the library. The replacement would bring the levy in line with current property values, bringing in more cash. Likewise, increasing the millage brings in additional money.
The two county-wide levies are to fund a public transit system and for improvements at the Trumbull County Fairgrounds in Bazetta.
Here's a good rule of thumb, 1-mill generally equals $35 for the owner of a $100,000 home.
For a complete list of issues, options and candidates, visit www.electionohio.com/trumbull