(WKBN) – Denny Malloy becomes a Trumbull County commissioner on Jan. 1. Lauren McNally becomes Ohio’s 59th District state representative on Jan. 3. Both were sworn in on Thursday, Dec. 29 at venues of their choice.

Malloy and 50 of his supporters stood in the parking lot on the east end of the Route 88 causeway over Mosquito Lake, where he was sworn in.

Before the ceremony, Malloy explained why he chose this unorthodox location.

“So I spent many, many, many Saturdays and Sundays up in that refuge up there, duck and goose hunting. So to me, this is kind of home,” he said.

Malloy, a Republican, replaces Democrat Frank Fuda who’s retiring, making the three-member board now majority Republican.

Reporter Stan Boney: “The Trumbull County commissioners not working together all that well the last year. Does that concern you?”
Malloy: “It doesn’t concern me at all. This is a new group of people in here now and I’m my own person. I’m going to give every other board member a fair shake and, hopefully, they’ll do the same and I look forward to working with both of them.”

Twenty-five miles south, at the Youngstown Playhouse, three of McNally’s four children led the Pledge of Allegiance before their mother was sworn in.

In her speech afterward, McNally briefly teared up when thanking her family.

“I couldn’t have done any of this without you guys,” she said.

What McNally must overcome is being a Democrat in an Ohio Legislature with a supermajority of Republicans. She says she’s already spoken with her Republican counterparts.

“We already have talked about how we are going to keep the bigger picture in mind, and that our goal is just to help this area thrive and grow,” she said.

Among those attending Malloy’s swearing-in were outgoing commissioner Frank Fuda and former commissioner and former Democratic Party chairman Dan Polivka, who said he was there to support Trumbull County.

At McNally’s swearing-in were her fellow Youngstown council members — Anita Davis, Mike Ray and Julius Oliver — along with former Mayor John McNally, who is her husband’s cousin.