WARREN - The former union chief at the largest manufacturing local in the Mahoning Valley who failed in his bid to become mayor of Warren has filed to run in May to become president of City Council.
Jim Graham, who led the United Auto Workers Local 1112 for years, is the candidate wanting to challenge incumbent council president Bob Dean, who has indicated a win this year would likely be his last term on council.
''I want to see our city progress,'' said Graham, who unsuccessfully ran in 2011 against Mayor Doug Franklin. ''That's the only reason I'm running ... I just want our city to prosper, and right now, the city needs the help.''
Dean, who gave up his at-large seat and unseated former council president Bob Marchese the same year, said ''competition is something, one, that you expect and two, it's always good.''
''In this case, it's so the general public can understand the contributions and public service we have to offer,'' Dean said.
The council president's race tops the list of possible contested Democrat municipal races in the May 7 primary election. The deadline to file at the county Board of Elections was 4 p.m. Wednesday.
No Republicans filed.
The elections board will meet at 9:30 a.m. Feb. 14 to certify the candidates, and the questions and issues for the ballot.
Also in Warren, four people filed petitions for an open seat in the 1st Ward, vacant because Fiore Dippolito has decided to not run.
Filing were Felicia Davis, Karen Y. Jennings, Larry Larson and Clyde Wilson.
Davis, who filed as a Democrat, lost in the 2011 general election to Dippolito as a nonparty affiliated candidate.
Wilson lost to Dippolito in the Democrat primary that year.
Warren's 5th and 6th Wards also had more than one person filing petitions.
In the 5th Ward were Vince Flask and Kim Kruppa and in the 6th Ward, Erica J. Royster and Cheryl Saffold.
Others filing to run in Warren were Thomas Gysegem, Warren Municipal Court judge; John Homlitas, treasurer; Helen Rucker, Daniel J. Sferra and James T. Valesky Jr., council at-large; Alford Novak, 2nd Ward; John Brown Jr., 3rd Ward; Greg Bartholomew, 4th Ward; and Eddie L. Colbert, 7th Ward.