There are plenty of interesting races in the May 6 Democratic primary election, and we'll see who the early frontrunners are at the end of February. That's when central committee members of the Trumbull County Democratic Party will meet to endorse candidates.
An endorsement comes with several perks, the largest being able to use the discounted Ohio Democratic Party mailing program. Another, the candidate can participate in the county party's coordinated campaign.
All the Democratic candidates will be on the endorsement ballot on Feb. 26, unless they ask to not be considered.
In the countywide races, only Auditor Adrian Biviano and Common Pleas Court Judge Peter Kontos are running unopposed for the party nomination.
In the remaining two races, for Trumbull County commissioner and for Trumbull County Probate Court judge, the endorsement should be a shoo-in for one candidate: Frank Fuda, commissioner.
Fuda, of Niles, where he was councilman for several years, is being challenged Lisha Pompili-Baumiller, a councilwoman in Hubbard. Fuda is seeking a third term.
In the judge's race, there maybe more suspense. Either attorney James A. Fredericka or attorney Patricia Leopardi Knepp, both of Warren, could come away from DiVieste's Banquet Hall that night with the endorsement.
The endorsement in no way in this race should signal a lock, though, because either can win without it.
Attorney William Flevares of Warren also is in the race. The endorsement certainly would be a boost to his campaign.
Former Warren Mayor Michael J. O'Brien should sail away with party support in the race for the 64th District Ohio House seat.
His opponents, Eugene Mach of Warren, is new to politics and Ken MacPherson, also of Warren, despite being a registered Democrat, may turn off the base because of his history with tea party.
Securing the endorsement should also be easy for 63rd District state Rep. Sean O'Brien. His challenger, Marianne James of Niles, is a political unknown.
Down the ballot a bit, there are two races for 32nd District State Central Committee.
Members of the state central committees are elected from within the boundaries of senate districts in Ohio. In each, a man and a woman from both parties will be elected, with the responsibility of shaping and guiding the party over the next two years.
Running in the men's race are Daniel J. Sferra of Warren and Sean O'Brien. O'Brien's entry is curious because it may signal his interest in running for the Senate seat, which is Trumbull and Ashtabula counties, to replace state Sen. Capri Cafaro when her term ends in 2016.
In the women's race, the candidates are Windy Ann Flynn of Niles and Margaret Scott of Warren, who is running to keep her seat.