Race for Youngstown mayor heats up - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Race for Youngstown mayor heats up

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - With less than two weeks until election day, the drama surrounding Youngstown's mayoral race will likely make it a tight contest.

Accusations of sexual harassment have taken center stage against Independent candidate Demaine Kitchen. Three weeks ago, an independent investigator began his probe into the claims made by a city employee, and its not clear whether the investigation will be completed before election day.

21 News has reached out to Kitchen many times for an on camera interview, but he has refused. However, in an on-camera and radio interview at our print partner, the Vindicator, Kitchen said he has not yet been contacted by the investigator and says the allegations against him are a political machine at work.

"It's a machine that will stop at nothing to win this race and we're going to stop at nothing to win it through our hard work and delivering our message." said Kitchen.

Meanwhile, Democratic candidate John McNally is making a strong push to get out the vote. With more than $55,000, McNally has the biggest war chest for media ads and door to door campaigning that addresses neighborhood issues.

"They're worried about their individual street and what's going on there and it really is quality of life issues and I think whoever wins on election day will have to pay attention to that." said McNally.

So far the Board of Elections reports receiving more than 1,600 absentee ballots from Youngstown voters. 21 News political analyst Bill Binning expects a very close outcome on November 5th.

"I think we're doing the primary over again. And that was a very close election and surprising to people. So I think this election will be very close and we may have to count all the votes before we know actually who wins." said Binning.

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