Trumbull County Democratic Party chairman in hot water with stat - News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Trumbull County Democratic Party chairman in hot water with state Democratic Party

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WARREN, Ohio -

The Trumbull Democratic Party voted for its replacement for the vacant seat opened by the passing of Trumbull County Commissioner Paul Heltzel. However, that vote is being called improper by the state Democratic Party.

On Monday, all Trumbull Democratic candidates will be banned from access to tools they use to help them get elected. The State Party Chairman, Chris Redfern, says candidates will no longer have access to an online system that that tracks voter behavior largely due to Chairman Dan Polivka's actions.

“Every candidate from Congressman Tim Ryan to township trustees will be suspended from the voter file within Trumbull County. I've already made that clear to Congressman Ryan, and to Representative O’Brien, Representative Letson,” Redfern said.

Also suspended will be a one half to two-thirds discount for campaign mail through the state party, and Trumbull candidates will not be on a sample ballot direct mailing that is sent to registered Democratic voters.

Refern says Dan Polivka knowingly went against the party's bylaws which are non-negotiable. “It frankly does not matter whether he agrees or not. It's his job, by oath, to carry out the duties of the charter. If he's unwilling to do so he will have to step down,” Redfern said.

What Polivka and the Trumbull Democratic precinct committee persons did was hold a secret ballot narrowing down the 10 candidates to two. In a second secret vote, the winner was Mauro Cantalamessa. The final vote was public, which attorney Jeffery Goodman believes satisfied the public voting portion of the bylaws and Trumbull bylaws which call for a secret ballot. “The actual appointment made by the Democratic Party today will be done by a public voice vote,” Goodman said.

But the Ohio Democratic Party and the National Democratic Party strictly forbid the use of secret ballots. Redferen says Chairman Polivka will have a chance to make this right. “If he is unwilling to take up his oath and follow the rules and bylaws of the state and the national party, then the state executive committee will censure him first, then compel him to leave by issuing a resolution removing him as county party chair,” Redfern said.

Computers and copying equipment are also scheduled to be seized from the Trumbull Democratic Party’s possession this week.

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