Jun 14, 2022

WARREN — The former Democratic Trumbull County commissioner who is trying to win back his old job will have a big financial advantage over his Republican opponent in the fall campaign, according to post-primary financial reports with the Trumbull County Board of Elections.
State Rep. Michael O’Brien, D-Warren, who cannot run for re-election in the Ohio House because of term limits, won his primary battle over Democrat David Guarino with 81 percent of the vote in May.
According to O’Brien’s post-primary financial report, he will bring a balance of $61,364 to the fall campaign against Republican Dennis Malloy, who bested two Republican opponents in the primary winning 44 percent of the vote.
The post-primary reporting period was April 14 to June 3.
In his finance report, Malloy, field director for Whitetails Unlimited and a former employee of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, listed a balance going forward of $2,756. The report also notes Malloy has outstanding loans of $36,500.
The latest post-primary contributions received by O’Brien included $2,500 from businessman Bruce Zoldan, $1,000 from businessman Ted Bloom and $250 from businessman Robert Creager.
Listed contributions for the Malloy campaign included $1,000 from Howland attorney Sarah Kovoor, who unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for a seat on the 11th District Court of Appeals, $500 from Lori Hineman of Farmdale and $500 from Barbara Rosier-Tryon of Howland.
Late primary campaign expenditures for O’Brien included $1,250 to consultant Danny Thomas, $164 for campaign shirts and $240 to sponsor a Champion golf league team. Malloy’s late primary expenses included $467 for campaign signs, $316 for printing and $232 for postage.
Malloy’s two Republican opponents — Christina Lee and Rick Hernandez — also reported meager balances on-hand in their respective campaign funds.
Lee, who garnered 26 percent of the vote, reported a balance of $19, while Hernandez reported a campaign of $163. Hernandez’s biggest campaign expense was a $1,498 advertising buy from iHeart Radio that helped him net 30 percent of the Republican vote. Lee’s expenditures included $464 for postage and $163 for gasoline.
Guarino did not submit a financial report.
The fall campaign to see who will succeed retiring Trumbull County Auditor Adrian Biviano will come down to who can manage their money the best. Candidates Tod Latell, a Democrat, and Republican Martha Yoder listed large amounts of debt in their campaign finance reports.
Latell, who bested Tom Shay by a 56 to 44 percent margin, listed $38,836 in outstanding loans and other debt on his report and a balance on hand of $942. Latell, the Trumbull County recorder, spent $9,821 in traditional media buys plus another $556 in social media advertising.
Meanwhile, Yoder, who was unopposed in the Republican primary, reported $87,600 of outstanding loans in her campaign report as well as a balance on hand of $1,028. Yoder also reported $317 of in-kind contributions for printing and advertising.
Shay reported a balance on hand of $1,039 and $38,000 in outstanding loans from his failed primary bid. Expenses for Shay totaled $34,050, including $13,000 in mailings, $2,250 for consulting and $1,652 for advertising. Shay listed a $15,000 payment to himself for debt service.
Former state Sen. Sean O’Brien, who bested attorney Dawn Cantalamessa by a 75 to 25 percent margin for a seat on the Trumbull County Common Pleas Court bench, reported $27,408 in late expenditures in a successful primary campaign.
O’Brien, who has no opposition in the fall, is the probable successor to longtime Judge W. Wyatt McKay. His campaign finance report listed outstanding loans of $25,000 and a balance of $854.
O’Brien’s late campaign donations included $1,600 from two Columbus law firms and $500 from Youngstown attorney Mark Hanni. He listed expenditures of almost $18,000 in advertising, including a $5,004 radio ad buy from iHeart Radio and a $1,935 ad in the Tribune Chronicle. He also listed almost $4,700 in printing and postage expenses, $2,512 for legal services and $1,200 in consulting fees.
Cantalamessa, a former Mahoning County assistant prosecutor who now works in Ashtabula County, reported a $6,240 balance on hand that included $40,000 in outstanding loans. Her expenses included media buys of $12,746 and $5,000. She also purchased social media boosts costing $5,490.
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