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David Skolnick

Adventures with Mike Pence

It’s always exciting covering presidential or vice presidential visits, and my time as pool reporter for Mike Pence’s recent stop in the Mahoning Valley fit the bill. I’ve been selected as “pool reporter” about a dozen times and have never been a fan of it. The pool reporter’s ...

Police reform likely a nonstarter

Just as he did with his gun reform plan last year, Gov. Mike DeWine isn’t going to get a warm welcome from the state Legislature to his proposed changes to law-enforcement policies. It appears the latest proposals aren’t being embraced by his fellow Republicans, who have super majorities ...

Backlash, pressure led to Acton’s exit

Shortly after COVID-19 hit Ohio, part of my work routine was to cover then-daily news conferences of Gov. Mike DeWine and Dr. Amy Acton on the number of cases and related deaths. It’s been difficult at times as the pandemic has killed thousands of people and greatly impacted daily routines ...

Campaign reports give insight

There were several interesting developments from the post-primary campaign finance reports of state Legislature incumbents and candidates from the Mahoning Valley. State Rep. Gil Blair, D-Weathersfield, in the Ohio House’s 63rd District was the only incumbent in the area to face challengers ...

Independents draw controversy

For most independent candidates, getting on the ballot largely consists of two things: getting enough valid signatures and not voting in the partisan primary held after they file. But in the Mahoning Valley things are rarely simple, and there’s a case in each of Trumbull and Mahoning ...

Study highlights bipartisanship

Bipartisanship is such a rarity in national politics that when it occurs, it’s news. We live in an era when many people see things as black and white, even though most things are shades of gray. It’s common to criticize the mainstream media, yet plenty of people believe the most ...

Ohio capital budget in jeopardy

The state’s capital budget, which provides money for numerous projects, is in jeopardy of not being approved this year. The $2.6 billion biennial capital budget was expected to be introduced in March, with about $150 million in it for community projects, and passed well before now. But ...

Plan now for November election

We hope life gets back to normal by the November general election, but plans need to be in place now in case it doesn’t. Regardless of what happens, the reality is a lot of people will be hesitant to stand in line to vote. That means there’s going to be a greater dependence on mail votes ...

No upsets, but interesting results

While there weren’t any upsets in Tuesday’s primary election, there were some interesting results. I must mention that during the COVID-19 pandemic, we shouldn’t take these results as indicators of what will happen in the general election. Turnout was extraordinarily low as expected ...

Low expectations for primary

What happens when you have an election using a voting method many people have never used before in the midst of a pandemic? We’re going to find out Tuesday, though complete results for the primary won’t be certified for about another month. It certainly looks like voters will stay away ...

Don’t wait to request a ballot

If you want to vote in this primary and haven’t yet requested a ballot, you’d better get moving. While the primary has been postponed to April 28, voters must get their ballots postmarked by April 27 and have them arrive at county boards of elections by May 8 to be counted. After Dr. ...

Pandemic creates primary dilemma

Candidates on the primary ballot are facing an unprecedented dilemma. Those in competitive primaries — particularly in races in which there’s no general election opponent— likely spent an overwhelming majority of their money in the days leading up to March 17. That was the original date ...

Prepare for an unusual primary

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ohio and several other states are experiencing the most unusual primary election in our lifetime. With a few exceptions, everyone in Ohio is going to vote by mail or drop off their ballots at county boards of elections. This has already been a confusing ...

Manning’s determination worked

My routine each morning is to check my phone for any news overnight. Saturday morning, to my shock, my Twitter feed contained a post from Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder about the sudden death of state Rep. Don Manning the previous night. Within about two minutes, Editor Brenda Linert ...

Ohio bungled election delay

Not having a primary election Tuesday was the right decision. But there are plenty of concerns about how it was handled. State executive-branch officials — particularly Gov. Mike DeWine and Dr. Amy Acton, director of the Ohio Department of Health — have received a lot of credit for how ...

Group spends big in GOP race

Advertisements criticizing Louis G. Lyras, a Republican candidate in the 13th Congressional District primary, and praising Christina M. Hagan, who’s also seeking the GOP nomination, are not being funded by Hagan, but by the Ohio Freedom Fund, a group that has spent $75,000 on media buys and ...

Secretary of state urges caution

“Instead of trying to hack the elections, they’ve tried to hack our minds.” That’s what Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose said this week about “foreign adversaries,” particularly those from Russia, trying to interfere in U.S. elections. They’re particularly active during ...

Sherrod Brown is blunt about Biden

When I asked U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown about the state of the Democratic presidential race, he seemed hesitant to say anything specific about most of the candidates. But that wasn’t the case with former Vice President Joe Biden, who was the front-runner before the primary / caucus season ...

Will primaries attract voters?

The presidential race will drive voter turnout in November as it always does every four years. But what about the primary? For Republicans, President Donald Trump was the lone Republican to qualify as a candidate in Ohio. Trump will attract some people who will vote in the primary just to ...

Loan program not going away

A number of Democratic officials were in an uproar over President Donald Trump’s budget proposal to eliminate a loan program that Lordstown Motors Corp. might use to seek $200 million for its local electric truck facility. But there’s only a tiny chance — if even that much — that the ...