MCKINLEY HEIGHTS, Ohio (WKBN) — The 117 precinct committee people who showed up at Tuesday evening’s reorganization meeting decided it was time for change. Dan Polivka had been chairman for 10 years but was defeated by Mark Alberini. It wasn’t overwhelming — Alberini won by just 11 votes — 64-53. But afterward, the two shook hands and said they’d work together.

The meeting room of the Trumbull County Democratic Party headquarters in McKinley Heights was filled to vote on whether incumbent Polivka or challenger Alberini should lead the party for the next four years. Polivka spoke first.

“When I took office there were 16 Democrats and two Republicans. Now we have 17 Democrats and one Republican,” said Polivka.

Alberini listed three things he considered unacceptable with how the party was being run. First, having no democrat face Mike Loychik or Randy Law in the 65th district. Second, allowing Sean O’Brien and Gil Blair to lose their races in 2020. And third, “Being stuck with Niki Frenchko as a commissioner for the next three years is unacceptable because it’s due to political infighting and it should have been avoided,” said Alberini.

After both candidates spoke. Each precinct committee person came forward, received their ballots and voted. Vice-Chairman Kathy DiCristofaro announced the winner.

“The new chairman of the Trumbull County Democratic Party is Mark Alberini,” said DiCristofaro.

Alberini and Polivka shook hands before Alberini returned to the podium and told the Democrats assembled what comes next.

“Now it’s time for a change. It’s a new era. We hope we can build on what he’s built. Take it further, take it faster, get more energized, make being Democratic cool again, and get more people involved,” said Alberini.

“Well, I was a little surprised. It was a close election. We both worked real hard, calling people, going to see people. Some people didn’t make it here. But I wish him the best and I wish the party the best and I’ll still be involved helping some of our candidates get elected,” said Polivka.

Alberini also promised that the Trumbull Democrats will be having more fundraisers. They haven’t had one in four years he said. In Sept. of last year, the party had just $672 in its bank account. Asked Alberini — “How are we going to elect good democrats with $600 in the bank?”