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.
AUDITOR RACE
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.
JUDGE’S RACE
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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