Interviews set today for 63rd District seat

WARREN — Seven people applied, but six will be interviewed today to fill the empty 63rd District Ohio House seat after one candidate Monday removed herself from consideration.

Kathy DiCristofaro of Niles withdrew, citing the effect the job would have on her State Teachers Retirement System benefits.

“I’ve decided it would be best to stay in education now and hope to look to public service another time or (in) other capacity,” said DiCristofaro, an educator, vice chairwoman of the Trumbull County Democratic Party and chairwoman of the Ohio Democratic Women’s Caucus.

The screening committee — comprised of state Reps. Michael J. O’Brien of Warren, Michele Lepore-Hagan of Youngstown, Jack Cera of Bellaire, Stephanie Howse of Cleveland and Brigid Kelly of Cincinnati — will interview:

• Gil Blair of Weathersfield, a prosecutor in Warren Municipal Court and Weathersfield trustee;

• David Detec of Girard, an attorney with Manchester, Newman and Bennett and former member of the Western Reserve Port Authority;

• Tom Harwood of Niles, who has a background in business and has worked in the printing field. He served as president of the Trumbull County Senior Advisory Board for six years, resigning in 2011, and had run for treasurer of Niles in 2016;

• Barry Profato of Niles, at-Large councilman and former clerk of Niles Municipal Court;

• Jack Simon of Liberty, former Liberty trustee who works as director of governmental affairs / special projects coordinator with the Trumbull County Engineer’s Office; and

• Melissa Wasser, a native of McDonald who lives in Washington, D.C., and works as a policy analyst at the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

The panel will then make a recommendation to the 37-member minority caucus for a replacement for ex-state Rep. Glenn Holmes, who resigned May 1 to accept a six-year appointment to the Ohio Parole Board. The new state representative will fill the remainder of Holmes’ term, which expires in December 2020.

The base pay for a state representative is $63,007.