What a week in Trumbull County politics. Let's recap:
Former Warren Mayor Michael J. O'Brien let it drop Monday that he's interested in a seat on the Trumbull County Board of Elections.
His say-so ends strong rumors about O'Brien's desire and also sets up a head-to-head meeting with Niles Mayor and Trumbull County Democratic Party vice chairman Ralph Infante, who reclaimed the seat just a few weeks back.
It's going to be a heavyweight bout between two of perhaps the the most well-known political surnames in Trumbull County.
O'Brien's got a strong political presence in Trumbull County: He has 30 years of public service as councilman in Warren, county commissioner and mayor, plus his mother, Margaret, was clerk of clerks in Trumbull County for a number of years, and previous to that she was a councilwoman in Warren.
Not to mention years of service for the party.
Both are members of the party's central and executive committees.
But does O'Brien have enough to overcome Infante, himself having decades of service as mayor of and councilman in Niles. Plus, his sister, Karen Infante Allen, is clerk of courts now.
They, too, have years of service for the party.
Both are members of the party's central and executive committees, and both have accumulated plenty of political stock.
The race is a toss-up, but it will show just which family - Infante or O'Brien - holds political court in Trumbull County.
Infante was appointed in 2008, but was forced to step aside last year to run for re-election. He was re-appointed to fill what was really the remainder of his term earlier this year when the seat became vacant again.
The new four-year term begins in March. The party's executive committee will meet Tuesday to make a recommendation to Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, who makes the final appointments.
The four-person board has two Democrats and two Republicans.
One day later, state lawmaker Democrat Capri Cafaro announced she's stepping down as minority leader to focus her energy on the district.
She said when she decided to run for re-election, she let the minority caucus know she would not be seeking another term as leader, ''so I always kind of saw this year as a year of transition anyway,'' but it wasn't until recently she understood the full scope of political responsibility that came along with the position in a presidential election year.
The decision was made to concentrate her efforts on the district.
Cafaro also is in a re-election campaign. She's unopposed in the primary election, but there is competition from Nancy McArthur of Chardon, a Republican, in the fall general election.
She was picked leader in 2009.
Cafaro will be on the Insurance and Labor, Health, Transportation and Environment and Natural Resources committees, the last of which allows her to be a front-line policy advocate for the district on gas and oil well drilling.