Commissioner candidates spend $147K

WARREN — The four people running for Trumbull County commissioner seats spent a collective $147,000 on their campaigns, according to campaign finance reports filed with the Trumbull County Board of Elections.

Denny Malloy of Bazetta, an independent running against Democratic incumbent Commissioner Mauro Cantalamessa, raised more money than his opponent in contributions, but Cantalamessa, of Warren, had more monetary reserves built up from prior campaign finance periods and outspent Malloy by double, according to their reports.

Dan Polivka, Democratic incumbent commissioner from Warren, spent five times the amount of his Republican challenger, Niki Frenchko of Warren. Though Polivka raised only 1.4 times the amount Frenchko did, he carried over a large balance from prior fundraising periods to spend in months leading up to the Nov. 3 general election.

This pre-general election campaign finance reporting period covers candidate spending and donations between July 1 and Oct. 14. Candidates will turn in campaign finance reports on Dec. 11 for campaign activity since Oct. 14, detailing how much they had to spend in the three weeks before the election.

Cantalamessa raised $1,450 during the reporting period, but had a balance of $49,163 on hand already, giving him $50,613 with which to work. He spent $47,325, leaving him with a balance of $3,287 in the weeks leading up to Nov. 3.

Frenchko raised $13,580 during the reporting period and brought $640 forward from the last reporting period, giving her $14,220 with which to work. She spent $12,272, leaving her with $1,947 as of Oct. 14.

Malloy raised $11,967 for his campaign and loaned his campaign $24,000 of his own money, giving him $35,967 during the reporting period. He spent $23,790, leaving him with $12,177 going into the next reporting period, more than the balance of any other commissioner candidate.

Polivka raised $19,225, adding to the $54,970 he already had on hand. That gave Polivka $74,195 to spend on his campaign, and he spent a large chunk of it ä $63,995 ä leaving him with $10,199 on Oct. 14.

Frenchko, Malloy and Polivka also received in-kind contributions, which is when a person, a business or the candidate themself pays for a campaign expense and doesnát receive reimbursement for it. Frenchko received $7,109, Malloy received $4,735 and Polivka received $7,950 in in-kind contributions.


Cantalamessa was the only commissioner candidate who did not hold a fundraiser, a choice he made because of the pandemic, he said.

His biggest contributions were $250 from Randil Rudloff of Tall Oak Circle, Cortland; $500 from the Western Reserve Building and Construction Trade Council; and $500 from a Columbus realtor political action committee, which also gave $500 to the other three candidates.

Cantalamessa spent his money on media advertisements, yard signs and mailings, including $17,500 with 2 Ticks and the Dog Productions of Warren for a commercial and media buy; about $20,000 with Youngstown Letter Shop for mailers; and $2,500 to the Trumbull County Democratic Party.

Frenchkoás contributions came individually and from events. Donors that gave the most to Frenchko include from U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci of Wadsworth, who gave $500; Bruce Burke of Perkinswood SE in Warren, who gave $750; a $1,000 donation from Matriots, a nonpartisan Columbus PAC that encourages women to run for office; $1,000 from the Trumbull County Republican Womenás Club; and $1,000 from Isa Nagy of Kenilworth Avenue SE in Warren, her daughter.

Frenchko spent her money on T-shirts, signs, advertising and a $6,000 donation to the Ohio Republican Party. She spent $1,786 on billboard ads and $1,765 with Donahue Advertising in Logan for signs and pens.

Malloy received donations of $250 or more from William Strimbu of Wildwood Drive, Brookfield; Barbara Rosier Tryon of Cain Drive NE, Warren; Paul Lyden of South Salem Warren Road, North Jackson; Louis Lyras of Creed Circle, Campbell; Alan Zoldan of Fox Den Trail, Canfield; and Bruce Zoldan of Belmont Avenue, Youngstown.

Some notable donors to Malloy include $125 from Trumbull County Engineer Randy Smith, Democrat; $100 from Kevin Wyndham, chairman of the Trumbull County Republican Party; $50 from Lordstown Mayor Arno Hill; $193 from Kathi Creed, a Republican member of the Trumbull County Board of Elections; and $125 from Manna Farms, which is owned jointly by Democrat member of the board of elections Diana Marchese and her husband.

Malloy, too, spent the money he raised on yard signs, mailers and fundraising events, including $14,500 with City Printing of Youngstown.

Polivka received donations of $500 or more from Thomas Bellish of Aurora Street, Hudson; Clifford Connelly of Twitchell Road, Andover; Sam Covelli of East Market Street, Warren; Frances Klingle of Hunters Hollow Drive SE, Warren; Warren attorney Daniel Letson; John Masternick of West Liberty Street, Girard; msc PAC of Columbus; Dave Wiles of Cleveland and Iron Workers Local 207 in Youngstown.

Notable donors also include John Gargano, director of Trumbull County Job and Family Services, who gave $100; former county lobbyist and former mobility manager Michael Verich of Warren, who gave $150; the head of the countyás building department, Michael Sliwinski, who gave $75; Rob Green, whose company GeoStar held a contract with the county until it failed to deliver services last year, who gave $230; head of county maintenance Al Devengencie Jr., who gave $345; Trumbull County Board of Elections member Mark Alberini, who gave $115; and county probate Judge James Fredericka, who gave $230.

Polivka spent money for events with Avalon Golf and Country Club and Havana House, and money on mailers, signs, commercials and other advertisements, including $24,000 with 2 Ticks and the Dog Productions. He also spent money with the county Democratic Party, which he is chairman of; Youngstown Letter Shop; Hovis Imagewear of Cortland; Ronás Sign Shop of Hubbard; Kosta Outdoor Advertising of Cortland; Water Drop Media of Hubbard and others.

Early voting is ongoing, hours are available at boe.co.trumbull.oh.gov/boe-earlyvote.html.


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