YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Next year’s race for the redesigned 6th District Congressional is, at the moment, missing one thing: a Democrat.
Ten years ago, Democrats would have fallen over each other for the nomination. Now, only one candidate has expressed interest.
For the Democrats,Capri Cafaro said she’s not running it’s not the right district or the right time. Sean O’Brien said he’s out and John Boccierri is out, too. That leaves Mahoning County Commissioner Anthony Traficanti.
Traficanti described his politics as a conservative Democrat and supports, for example, the rights of gun owners. The reasons for his hesitation are personal but he does plan to make a final decision by year’s end.
“I have tremendous respect for the work Anthony has done there,” said 6th District Representative Bill Johnson.
Should Traficanti run and win the Democratic primary, he’ll likely face Republican incumbent Bill Johnson, who’s also the early favorite.
“Absolutely I’m running again,” Johnson said.
When Johnson was first elected in 2010, he lived in Poland and worked in Trumbull County. The new district will have all of Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties — and many more Democrats.
“But I’ve worked hard for the people of the Mahoning Valley, along with Tim Ryan, on issues that are a concern to them. Things like bringing manufacturing and energy development to our region,” Johnson said.
“It’s hard to run in districts that favor another political party,” said John Boccieri.
Boccieri decided not to run when he saw the map of Ohio’s Congressional Districts, calling it very gerrymandered.
“But the Republicans have drawn congressional maps that will give than an 86% majority of the Congressional delegation. Despite them only getting about 52% of the vote statewide,” Boccieri said.
John Boccieri said he his concerned that more Democrats are not interested in running for national or statewide office. No Democrats have yet to announce they’re running for Ohio Attorney General, Treasurer, or Auditor.