Randy Law challenges Doug Franklin to mayoral debate

WARREN — Randy Law, an independent candidate for Warren mayor, challenged incumbent Doug Franklin to a pair of debates — and the mayor said he accepts.

Law said Wednesday: “Warren voters have a choice for mayor. They’ll decide if they’re happy with the crime and lousy economy they’ve gotten under Mayor Franklin or if they’re ready for a change.”

Law said city voters “deserve the opportunity to see both candidates debate and explain their vision for our city, and I look forward to quickly working with our local media organizations and the mayor to ensure voters can make an informed choice.”

Franklin, a Democrat first elected mayor in 2011, said: “I don’t mind debating him. If an organization wants to do it, I’ll show up.”

Franklin added that Law didn’t attend Monday’s Northwest Neighborhood Association’s meet-and-greet event for local candidates.

Early voting started Tuesday. The election is Nov. 5.

The Ohio Supreme Court last month reinstated Law to the ballot after ruling the Trumbull County Board of Elections improperly disqualified him Aug. 12 as an independent candidate. The court ruled Law properly disaffiliated himself from the Republican Party.

Law is a former county Republican Party chairman who has run for elected office as a Republican. He was elected as a state representative in 2004, a year after losing the Warren mayoral race. He’s also unsuccessfully run for the Ohio House four other times, including last year.

Before he was first elected mayor in 2011, Franklin served two terms on city council representing the 4th Ward and has won other citywide elections for councilman-at-large and president of council. He was appointed safety service director in 2004.