Four Democrats Seek Ohio House Seat in Aug. 2 Primary | News, Sports, Jobs


Four Democrats are vying for their party’s nomination for the new Ohio House 59th District seat in the Aug. 2 primary.

Performing are Youngstown 5th Ward Councilwoman Lauren McNally; Ronald Shadd, former member of the Youngstown school board for two terms; John R. Dyce of Hanoverton, who ran unsuccessfully for a State House seat in 2016 and 2018; and Wayne Penny Jr. of Youngstown.

The new 59th House District includes Youngstown, Coitsville, Ellsworth, Poland, Sebring, New Middletown, North Lima, Smith, Goshen, Green, Beaver and Springfield as well as four townships in northwest Columbiana County.

No Republicans ran for the seat. The independent filing deadline is August 1, the day before the primary, to run in the November 8 election. The administrator of the canton of Poland, Eric Ungaro, plans to file an application as a freelancer.

The primary for state legislative candidates was originally scheduled for May 3, but the Ohio Supreme Court has ruled five times that maps approved by the Republican-controlled Ohio Redistricting Commission were unconstitutional because ‘they unfairly favored the Republicans. This delayed the primary.

A federal court, however, announced on April 20 that it plans to implement the third round of maps, rejected by the state court, no later than May 28 if the state cannot approve the constitution. When that didn’t happen, the Federal Court imposed the third set of cards on May 27 and made them effective only for that election. This third set of maps took parts of the existing 58th, 59th, and 5th Ohio House districts to create a new 59th district.

Repeated attempts to contact Penny to discuss her candidacy have been unsuccessful.


McNally has been a Youngstown 5th Ward councilor since January 2016 and previously worked in marketing and content management.

When asked what she has that the other Democratic challengers for that seat don’t, McNally replied: “Live. I’ve been on city council for seven years now and during that time I’ve had a relationship with two city governments, all city council members, now two terms, and I’ve had such a good relationship with them that they put me in leadership positions.”

She added: “I also built relationships with community leaders. Those public, private, and philanthropic relationships are the things you really need to be successful in the position I hold now and in Columbus.

McNally said his top three priorities are working with schools to give them the tools to properly educate students, partnering with quasi-public groups to spur economic development, and bringing together diverse entities to work for growth. regional infrastructure.

“I will work to build a coalition of bipartisan representatives from across Ohio to create common sense legislation that works for all of our families and businesses,” she says.

She wants to work with school boards to enrich each district with state assistance, as well as partner with placement agencies, professional associations and unions to provide alternative education opportunities and career paths. .

McNally said she plans to work with organizations such as the Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber, the Eastgate Regional Council of Governments, the Economic Action Group and the Western Reserve Port Authority to spur economic development in the area. and also bring together various groups to “to work towards the creation of regionalized infrastructures and economic development plans that capitalize on our resources.”


Shadd spent eight years on the Youngstown School Board before losing a bid for a third four-year term in 2021.

He is the Direct Sales Supervisor at Charter Spectrum in Warren, where he has worked since February 2020. Prior to that, he was an Administrative Organizer with Service Employee International Union District 1199, Family and Community Engagement Supervisor for Mercer County Head Start and worked for the Mahoning and Columbiana Training Association.

During his time as a school board member, including as president, Shadd said he spoke with state officials and testified before legislative committees to get the Youngstown District out of control. State.

“During this process, I thought to myself, ‘Wow, looks like the work I’m doing here can be amplified if I dare to take the next step and take it to the next level.'” he said.

Shadd said he lost re-election in 2021 because he was more focused on freeing Youngstown from state control and eliminating it for other school districts, rather than his campaign.

Shadd said he has more experience at the state level than his opponents.

Its main priorities are the fight for voters’ rights, the search for equitable funding for education, job creation and economic development.

“I will work to ensure that every citizen has the right to vote in a transparent and accessible way”, Shadd said, adding that he would work to create more ballot drop boxes for the election — which the Republican-controlled state legislature has limited to one per county — and keep the early voting system going existing state.

He also wants to introduce legislation to ensure a constitutional approach to fair education funding, and engage and help the business sector support education programs and apprenticeships to meet labor demands.

Shadd said he will work to ensure Ohio has opportunities for commercial property to be start-up ready and provide support for existing businesses as well as help minority and local businesses grow and grow. .


Dyce originally requested to run in an Ohio House district that included most of Columbiana and all of Carroll counties. But when the Ohio Redistricting Commission changed the maps, it moved Dyce’s hometown of Hanoverton to that district. Dyce ran unsuccessfully in 2016 and 2018 for state representative in heavily Republican Columbiana County.

Dyce spent 26 years as a U.S. Postal Service driver and mail carrier, retiring in 2012. Since 2009, he has served as president of the Ohio State Association of Letter Carriers and since 2010 as vice president of the Ohio AFL- CIO.

Dyce said: “Serving at Ohio House would be a continuation of what I have done most of my life: fighting for workers in Ohio and across the country, workers’ rights, better pay, better retirement, better communities. I’ve been active in all of those places. I’m just continuing that. I’m trying to move on to another playground.”

He added: “I’m not looking for a new career. I don’t need the salary. I don’t need health care. I want to do what’s best for people. I think too many politicians have forgotten what their real mission is and they tend to put themselves forward.

Dyce said his top priorities were restoring public confidence in the Statehouse, helping senior homeowners and helping veterans.

There is a distrust of state government, Dyce said, with criminal investigations under two Republican House speakers. He wants to bring back that confidence.

Dyce also said he wants the state government to respect elderly homeowners and veterans.

As for senior homeowners, the state should change the income qualifier for the Homestead Exemption Act to give more of them property tax relief, Dyce said.

Veterans are returning from service and struggling to use the skills and experience they have under current state law because they lack the necessary state license or certification, said Dice. He plans to work like this “Ohio is attractive for retired members of the armed forces (to) return to Ohio to work and live.”

Dyce also wants a review of state tax cuts over the years, because he said they have unfairly favored the wealthy while working families have received few benefits.

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