YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Having worked in Mahoning County since graduating high school, incumbent commissioner Carol Righetti says she’s earned another term in office — her fourth.
“I’m dedicated to Mahoning County. I’ve done the work for Mahoning County residents. I’m there every day. We have a balanced budget. We have infrastructure projects,” Righetti said.
But the man who’d like to replace her thinks it’s time for a change. Gene DiFabio gained prominence locally and across the country in the summer of 2017 when then-President Donald Trump brought him to the podium during a rally at the Covelli Centre. This is his very first stab at elected office, so his political resume is thin, so the south sider is relying on his experience working in the private sector.
“For 62 years, we’ve had Democratic control in this county and it’s been a downhill slide,” DiFabio said. “We take a job and we have a problem. We have to fix it. We can’t talk about it. there’s no show, there are no photo ops. You just have to work to get it done.”
Something Righetti says she and her fellow commissioners have been doing for the last 12 years.
“I would say fiscal responsibilities, safety services, economic development, infrastructure and special needs,” Righetti said.
Although their backgrounds couldn’t be more different, Righetti and DiFabio seem to have similar goals if they win next month. Both want to make sure tax dollars are being spent properly.
“We are looking at all of our structures and how we are going to move out of them, you know, combine them,” Righetti said.
“We have to find out what needs funded. What needs funded the most and we have to fund those things. And where we’re spending money and what we don’t have to spend money on, we have to cut them,” DiFabio said.