Trumbull Democratic Party Chairman pushes back on state party ru - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

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Trumbull Democratic Party Chairman pushes back on state party rules

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WARREN, Ohio -

It appears to be a show down of sorts between the Trumbull County Democratic leader and the state party.

Despite a threat from the Ohio Democratic Party to impose sanctions, the local party chairman is not backing down.

Chairman Dan Polivka is fighting back. He says his party has a right to use secret ballots and he won't be moved to change their process, a process in which was used over the weekend to narrow down the party's selection of two candidates for county commissioner.

Polivka insists that his party worked within its bylaws to appoint Mauro Cantalamessa. But the chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party has deemed the appointment improper and is now moving forward with plans to potentially remove Polivka from his post if the process is not corrected with another vote that follows state party rules.

"If he's unwilling to take up his oath and follow the rules and bylaws of the state and national party, then the executive committee will censure him first, and then would compel him to leave by issuing a resolution removing him as county party chair," said Chris Redfren, chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party.

The state party has cut-off resources to all Trumbull County Democratic candidates as a result. Candidates will no longer have access to important voter tracking data and discounted mailing rates until the matter is settled.

"There are rules, even if we don't like them," said Rep. Tim Ryan says, Ohio's 13th District. "We have to work within the process to try to change them and so now, we're all in a difficult position here and I hope we can come to some type of resolution here in the next few days."

Mahoning County's Democratic Party recently revised its rules to throw out the option of secret ballots and it's believed Trumbull will have to do the same, even if it's an imposed measure.

"I believe that in order for all county parties to follow these rules, they don't have any choice but to enforce the rules upon Trumbull County," said Janet Carson, president of the Ohio Democratic Party Chairs Association.

In the meantime, the board of elections can certify Cantalamessa as a candidate for the November election, even if the state party disagrees with how he got there.

Polivka plans to hold a media conference Tuesday to respond to the state party's demands to hold a vote that follows state party rules.

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