Trumbull candidates caught in political crossfire - News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Trumbull candidates caught in political crossfire

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WARREN, Ohio -

The candidate who was supposed to be the new appointee for Trumbull County Commissioner is not the only one in the middle of a voting dispute between the Trumbull Democratic Party and the State and National Parties. All democratic candidates in Trumbull County face sanctions.

Mauro Cantalamessa was ready to take over as Trumbull Commissioner on Monday, but his appointment is caught up in a dispute between the Trumbull County Democratic Party and state and national parties.  Leaders of the Ohio and National Democratic Partie say a public vote is required for political appointments. Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern said, "Chairman Dan Polvika has been a member of the Executive Committee of the Ohio Democratic Party and knows full well a secret ballot is in direct violation of ODP, and NDP rules."

The state party says it will not recognize the election. State Representative Thomas Letson also received a similar message. "The vote will not be recognized and therefore it never happened, that is the message I got. It is like chalk on a board it is erased." said Letson.

With fewer than 100 days before the general election, other elected officials and candidates are feeling the effects of the battle. Effective Monday, Trumbull Democratic candidates will be subject to sanctions that the Ohio Democratic Party says it is enacting largely due to the Trumbull Party Chairman Dan Polivka and the secret ballot vote.

"The sanctions taking place on Monday will impact Democratic candidates running for positions that require votes from more than Trumbull County. It will impact Congressman Tim Ryan, Judge Cynthia Rice for Court of Appeals, or myself." said Letson, who is running for State Supreme Court Judge. "Our ability to use the Ohio Democratic Party facilities, that means their mailing list, or the lists for going door to door will be cut off. This will be cutting our campaign abilities off at the knees.", said Letson.

Polivka's attorney says he believes the secret ballots and final public vote satisfied all Ohio laws and will withstand a challenge. But the State Party Chairman Chris Redfern said, "Chairman Polivka will have a chance to call his Central Committee back to have a public vote. If not he will be removed as Trumbull Party Chair." Chairman Redfern added laptops and other equipment loaned to the local party by the state party will be seized this week.

The Trumbull County Democratic party is also running up against a deadline of August 11 to certify it's candidate for the November General Election. Polivka did not return our calls or text to answer our questions.


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